If the AT&T Long Lines Building has ever given you the creeps, there may be good reason. From a fascinating post on The Intercept:
An investigation by The Intercept indicates that the skyscraper is more than a mere nerve center for long-distance phone calls. It also appears to be one of the most important National Security Agency surveillance sites on U.S. soil—a covert monitoring hub that is used to tap into phone calls, faxes, and internet data.
Documents obtained by The Intercept from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden do not explicitly name 33 Thomas Street as a surveillance facility. However—taken together with architectural plans, public records, and interviews with former AT&T employees conducted for this article—they provide compelling evidence that 33 Thomas Street has served as an NSA surveillance site, code-named TITANPOINTE.
Inside 33 Thomas Street there is a major international “gateway switch,” according to a former AT&T engineer, which routes phone calls between the United States and countries across the world. A series of top-secret NSA memos suggest that the agency has tapped into these calls from a secure facility within the AT&T building. The Manhattan skyscraper appears to be a core location used for a controversial NSA surveillance program that has targeted the communications of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and at least 38 countries, including close U.S. allies such as Germany, Japan, and France.
The post is absolutely worth a read. It’s “the product of a joint reporting project between The Intercept and Field of Vision. Project X, a Field of Vision documentary directed by Henrik Moltke and Laura Poitras, will screen at IFC Center starting November 18.”
The photo at top is by @soma.architects.