CREDO Action (6/30/18)
We already knew that AT&T is in bed with the NSA and its domestic spying program.1,2 But this week, an investigative report revealed the eight cities where AT&T hosts “wiretap rooms” for the NSA to skim our data as it passes through their networking equipment.3
In each of these eight locations, AT&T provides the NSA with access to a special facility designed to transport vast quantities of our internet traffic. Even if you are not an AT&T customer, these facilities may sometimes transport your emails, phone calls and online chats.
Violation of privacy rights affects all, not just AT&T customers.
None of us consented to this invasion of privacy. But so far no one has complained loudly enough to force AT&T to stop. These new revelations can put new pressure on the company to change its practices – if enough of us act.
AT&T’s behavior is outrageous. In 2015, reports first revealed AT&T’s long-term collaboration with an NSA spying program that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, social media posts and other electronic communications.4 In 2016, reports showed that AT&T also ran a for-profit surveillance program selling customer data to local law enforcement agencies.5
Now, investigative reporters at The Intercept have found that eight AT&T buildings are central to the NSA spying initiative. Using classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with former AT&T employees, they have identified AT&T facilities that are “hidden in plain sight” in eight cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.6
The Intercept report confirms what we already knew: that the NSA “considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.'”7
But the NSA isn’t just monitoring the communications of AT&T customers. AT&T has “peering relationships” that allow it transport data for other companies. By monitoring these eight sites, the NSA collects not only AT&T’s data, but all the data that’s interchanged between AT&T’s network and these other companies.8
The mass surveillance of innocent people is unnecessary, unconstitutional and unacceptable.Instead of helping the NSA do it, AT&T should be protecting our right to privacy from government interference.
Tell AT&T: Stop giving our data to the NSA.
- Julia Angwin et al., “AT&T helped U.S. spy on internet on a vast scale,” The New York Times, Aug. 15, 2015.
- Anthony Cuthbertson, “AT&T spying program ‘worse than Snowden revelations,’ Newsweek, Oct. 26, 2016.
- Ryan Gallagher, Henrik Moltke, “The wiretap rooms: The NSA’s hidden spy hubs in eight U.S. cities,” The Intercept, June 25, 2018.
- Angwin et al., “AT&T helped U.S. spy on internet on a vast scale.”
- Cuthbertson, “AT&T spying program ‘worse than Snowden revelations.‘
- Ryan Gallagher, Henrik Moltke, “The wiretap rooms: The NSA’s hidden spy hubs in eight U.S. cities.“
- NSA Admits To Improper Collection Of Huge Amount Of Americans’ Call Records — The National Security Agency has admitting to improperly collecting what appears to be hundreds of millions of phone records from Americans, casting doubt that the principal restriction Congress imposed after Edward Snowden’s revelations has significantly inhibited the surveillance behemoth. … Read the Rest