The Long Lines Building, a showpiece of Brutalist architecture in Manhattan, hosts a set of large long distance telephone exchange switches that connect US phone networks with international trans-oceanic lines....
The Long Lines Building, a showpiece of Brutalist architecture in Manhattan, hosts a set of large long distance telephone exchange switches that connect US phone networks with international trans-oceanic lines. It was designed, amid the Cold War, to be entirely self-suf cient, with its own power generators and the capacity to survive for two weeks following a nuclear blast. Reportedly, AT&T has always maintained close ties with the US government, and it has been one of the most central cooperators in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance efforts. Documents obtained from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden provide compelling evidence that 33 Thomas Street has served as an NSA surveillance site, with the code-named TITANPOINTE. The leaked NSA documents reveal that one of TITANPOINTE’s functions is to conduct surveillance as part of a program called SKIDROWE, which focuses on intercepting satellite communications. Federal Communications Commission records confirm that the Long Lines Building is the only location in New York City where AT&T, code-named LITHIUM, has an FCC license for satellite earth stations. The spying program focuses on covertly vacuuming up internet data — known as “digital network intelligence” — as it is passing between foreign satellites. The harvested data is then made accessible through XKEYSCORE, a Google-like mass surveillance system that the NSA’s employees use to search through huge quantities of information about people’s emails, chats, Skype calls, passwords, and internet browsing histories.
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