The Most Important Surveillance Story You Will See for Years Just Went Online

NSA Surveillance

(CD) — “The most important surveillance story you will see for years just went online, revealing how AT&T became the internet’s biggest enemy, secretly collaborating against its customers and partners to destroy your privacy.”

That was how whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden reacted to the publication of an explosive story by The Intercept on Monday, which reveals for the first time how “fortress-like” AT&T buildings located in eight major American cities have played a central role in a massive National Security Agency (NSA) spying program “that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.”

“It’s eye-opening and ominous the extent to which this is happening right here on American soil,” Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Intercept in an interview. “It puts a face on surveillance that we could never think of before in terms of actual buildings and actual facilities in our own cities, in our own backyards.”

The Intercept‘s detailed report—based on a large body of evidence that includes public records, classified NSA documents, and interviews with former AT&T employees—shows how the telecom giant has willingly helped the NSA collect the data of its own customers and those of other companies, thanks to its “unique relationships with other phone and internet providers.”

According to Intercept reporters Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke, who bylined Monday’s story, eight AT&T facilities—known as “peering sites”—in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. “serve a specific function, processing AT&T customers’ data and also carrying large quantities of data from other internet providers.”

“The eight locations are featured on a top-secret NSA map, which depicts U.S. facilities that the agency relies upon for one of its largest surveillance programs, code-named FAIRVIEW,” Gallagher and Moltke write. “AT&T is the only company involved in FAIRVIEW, which was first established in 1985, according to NSA documents, and involves tapping into international telecommunications cables, routers, and switches.”

The report continues:

In 2003, the NSA launched new internet mass surveillance methods, which were pioneered under the FAIRVIEW program. The methods were used by the agency to collect—within a few months—some 400 billion records about people’s internet communications and activity, the New York Timespreviously reported. FAIRVIEW was also forwarding more than one million emails every day to a “keyword selection system” at the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters.

Central to the internet spying are eight “peering link router complex” sites, which are pinpointed on the top-secret NSA map. The locations of the sites mirror maps of AT&T’s networks, obtained by The Intercept from public records.

Fight for the Future (FFTF), an open internet advocacy group, reacted with alarm to The Intercept‘s reporting on Monday, writing on Twitter, “AT&T has bent over backwards to help the U.S. government spy on essentially all internet traffic.”

“Giant telecom companies aren’t just “anti-consumer,” they’re actively helping authoritarian governments and pushing for policies that endanger free expression,” FFTF concluded.

By Jake Johnson / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

Since you’re here……We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us

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NSA Surveillance

(CD) — “The most important surveillance story you will see for years just went online, revealing how AT&T became the internet’s biggest enemy, secretly collaborating against its customers and partners to destroy your privacy.”

That was how whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden reacted to the publication of an explosive story by The Intercept on Monday, which reveals for the first time how “fortress-like” AT&T buildings located in eight major American cities have played a central role in a massive National Security Agency (NSA) spying program “that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.”

“It’s eye-opening and ominous the extent to which this is happening right here on American soil,” Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Intercept in an interview. “It puts a face on surveillance that we could never think of before in terms of actual buildings and actual facilities in our own cities, in our own backyards.”

The Intercept‘s detailed report—based on a large body of evidence that includes public records, classified NSA documents, and interviews with former AT&T employees—shows how the telecom giant has willingly helped the NSA collect the data of its own customers and those of other companies, thanks to its “unique relationships with other phone and internet providers.”

According to Intercept reporters Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke, who bylined Monday’s story, eight AT&T facilities—known as “peering sites”—in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. “serve a specific function, processing AT&T customers’ data and also carrying large quantities of data from other internet providers.”

“The eight locations are featured on a top-secret NSA map, which depicts U.S. facilities that the agency relies upon for one of its largest surveillance programs, code-named FAIRVIEW,” Gallagher and Moltke write. “AT&T is the only company involved in FAIRVIEW, which was first established in 1985, according to NSA documents, and involves tapping into international telecommunications cables, routers, and switches.”

The report continues:

In 2003, the NSA launched new internet mass surveillance methods, which were pioneered under the FAIRVIEW program. The methods were used by the agency to collect—within a few months—some 400 billion records about people’s internet communications and activity, the New York Timespreviously reported. FAIRVIEW was also forwarding more than one million emails every day to a “keyword selection system” at the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters.

Central to the internet spying are eight “peering link router complex” sites, which are pinpointed on the top-secret NSA map. The locations of the sites mirror maps of AT&T’s networks, obtained by The Intercept from public records.

Fight for the Future (FFTF), an open internet advocacy group, reacted with alarm to The Intercept‘s reporting on Monday, writing on Twitter, “AT&T has bent over backwards to help the U.S. government spy on essentially all internet traffic.”

“Giant telecom companies aren’t just “anti-consumer,” they’re actively helping authoritarian governments and pushing for policies that endanger free expression,” FFTF concluded.

By Jake Johnson / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

Since you’re here……We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us

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Amazon Shareholders Call On Jeff Bezos To Stop Selling Facial “Rekognition” Software To Police

By Aaron Kesel

An astounding 20 groups of Amazon shareholders sent its CEO, Jeff Bezos, a letter urging him to stop selling the company’s face recognition software to law enforcement, CNN reported.

The software, called Rekognition, came under greater scrutiny last month when the ACLU published revealing internal documents related to its use by police. Numerous civil rights organizations co-signed a letter demanding Amazon stop assisting government surveillance, and several members of Congress have expressed concerns about the partnerships.

“We are concerned the technology would be used to unfairly and disproportionately target and surveil people of color, immigrants, and civil society organizations,” the shareholders, which reportedly include Social Equity Group and Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, wrote. “We are concerned sales may be expanded to foreign governments, including authoritarian regimes.”

Amazon’s Rekognition software can analyze images from all types of sources—images or videos from any police surveillance tool—including CCTV, body cameras, and drones all matched against databases.

This isn’t the first time that Amazon was caught working with law enforcement. Amazon’s fifth transparency report revealed earlier this year that the company provided more customer data to U.S. law enforcement in the first half of last year than in its history with a shocking 1,936 different requests between January and June 2017, ZDNet reported.

Of those 1,936 requests, Amazon complied and replied to 1,200 subpoena requests, 189 search warrants and 76 other court orders – for a whopping 1,465 requests they responded to. That’s 42 percent of all subpoenas, 44 percent of search warrants and 52 percent of other court orders.

That’s an incredible rise from the year prior where Amazon received:

  • 1,618 subpoenas, which the company fully complied with 679 cases.
  • 229 search warrants, which the company fully complied with 100 cases.
  • 89 other court orders, which the company fully complied with 46 cases.

Amazon didn’t state why there was a spike in U.S. government requests during the first half of the year, but for a company that openly has a partnership with the CIA for $600 million for cloud servers, this information should be troubling. The oddest part of this data is the fact that Amazon stated they received no content removal orders, which begs the question what merit were the cases based on if not illegal content?

Amazon has publicly promoted how police have used its face recognition software to identify people of interest to law enforcement. On Amazon’s website, a systems analyst with Oregon’s Washington County explained how Rekognition was fed a database of 300,000 arrest photos to match against faces seen in surveillance images. It’s significant to note that when a person is arrested typically they are put into a database, whether they are convicted of a crime or not.

In May, the ACLU released troubling internal documents, including an email from a Washington County official telling Amazon they were using Rekognition to identify “unconscious or deceased individuals” as well as “possible witnesses.”

The privacy concerns are obvious and growing as the U.S. deploys face recognition in airports and at borders, and even schools are installing cameras which soon could be equipped with facial recognition. Increasingly our rights are decreasing with the help of big corporations like Amazon. Recently, Google saw its employees stop a military contract in a petition after the company was revealed to be involved with helping Project Maven (an artificial intelligence drone initiative.) It’s up to everyone to take a stand wherever and whenever they see injustice taking hold.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Steemit, and BitChute. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

UK Culture Secretary Recommends Schools Ban Cell Phones Along with France, Rwanda, and More

By B.N. Frank

Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock, has called on UK schools to ban mobile phones.  He put the responsibility on headteachers – not the government:

While it is up to individual schools to decide rather than government, I admire headteachers who do not allow mobiles to be used during the school day. I encourage more schools to follow their lead. The evidence is that banning phones in schools works.

Laws governing children’s relationship with technology vary around the world.  Recently France and Rwanda have passed legislation to ban student use of phones in schools.  Other schools in the U.S. and around the world also have similar bans.

For many years already, tech inventors have deliberately sent their own kids to “low tech” schools and restricted how much technology they used at home.  However, most public school systems have increased taxes to make their schools “high tech” and kids’ test scores have been declining, not improving.  

There are also health risks – including cancer – from exposure to this technology.  No “safe” level of cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women.

Many medical organizations and health professionals have been recommending that we reduce children’s exposure to WiFi radiation and other sources of Electrical Pollution (aka Electrosmog) in schools and by schools.

Telecom companies don’t seem to care.  They insist on providing free cell phones to students and installing WiFi on school buses.  They continue creating and marketing new harmful products specifically for kids.  Unfortunately, Sesame Street even has a role in this as well.

In the meantime, some of these same companies are warning shareholders – not customers – that they may eventually be found liable for causing harm with their products.

The media has been covering this off and on.  The Telecom Industry is being referred to as “Big Wireless” and being compared to “Big Tobacco.”

Marketing has encouraged us to become a culture where we are all using and are exposed to multiple sources of technology 24/7.  Advertising campaigns, TV and film often portrays unsafe tech use as helpful, normal, even endearing.  This includes “bingewatching” and “kids glued to screens”.

Those who don’t or won’t subscribe to this lifestyle are often stigmatized as weirdos, losers and of course, “conspiracy theorists.”  Meanwhile, The World Health Organization has classified Video Gaming Disorder as a mental illness and there seem to be a lot more sick people and animals than there were before all this technology was introduced.  The environment doesn’t seem to be handling it well either.

Our community leaders, elected officials and government employees are playing a big role in this as well.

So many seem to have forgotten that it’s only through devotion, blessed are the children.

For more information, visit the following websites: