By Brian Barrett
The Intercept this week published the locations of eight AT&T buildings that it says also serve as surveillance hubs for the National Security Agency. By piecing together public documents, classified files, and interviews, the outlet identified these networking equipment centers in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York, DC, and Atlanta. These locations are significant in that they route traffic not just from AT&T customers but from other internet backbone providers who have so-called peering agreements with the telecom giant. The facilities don't exist specifically for the NSA; they simply offer the most bang for the buck in terms of watching data pass through. There's nothing necessarily illegal about the arrangement, but the NSA is prohibited from spying on communications between two US citizens - a lot of which presumably travels through these eight sites.