FAIRVIEW is an National Security Agency
program that was first established in 1985
, according to NSA documents, and involves tapping into international telecommunications cables, routers, and switches.
The documents, provided in 2013 by the former agency contractor Edward Snowden, were jointly reviewed by The New York Times and ProPublica.
The NSA, AT&T and Verizon declined to discuss the findings from the files. "We don’t comment on matters of National Security", an AT&T spokesman said.
In the words of Thomas Drake, a former NSA senior executive who blew the whistle on the agency’s reckless spending and invasive surveillance in 2006, FAIRVIEW is the NSA’s project to “own the Internet.” FAIRVIEW is what Drake called an “umbrella program.” It incorporates many different operations, such as BLARNEY, OAKSTAR, and STORMBREW (discussed below), that intercept massive amounts of international Internet traffic by various means.
What data is collected? #
In an email to the Daily Dot, Drake described FAIRVIEW as focused on collecting messages and phone calls at “the main Internet backbone links/junctions of the undersea trunk/cable fiber optic systems.” On a slide released by O Globo (presumably depicting FAIRVIEW’s reach), there is an image of what appears to be North America’s submarine cables.
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