The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities

A VERY long read that is worth your while.

It reminds you of how well you don’t know your city if you’re living in one of these eight.

 

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420 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

 

The secrets are hidden behind fortified walls in cities across the United States, inside towering, windowless skyscrapers and fortress-like concrete structures that were built to withstand earthquakes and even nuclear attack. Thousands of people pass by the buildings each day and rarely give them a second glance, because their function is not publicly known. They are an integral part of one of the world’s largest telecommunications networks – and they are also linked to a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program.

Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.

The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” It is a collaboration that dates back decades. Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies. Continue reading

1,000 companies going bankrupt in Italy every day as country faces full-scale ‘credit emergency

Italy’s industry chiefs have warned that the country faces a “full credit emergency” as thousands of companies run out of critical funding, threatening a slide into deeper depression.

Confindustria, the business federation, said that 29% of Italian firms cannot meet “operational expenses” and are starved of liquidity. It said that a “third phase of the credit crunch” is under way that matches the shocks in 2008-09 and again in 2011. Continue reading