Intelligence officials have reportedly learned that the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the U.S. earlier this year communicated via an American internet service provider.
The balloon sent and received communications from China through a U.S.-based company, NBC News reports. These communications were primarily related to the balloon’s navigation, and would send high-bandwidth collections of data through short-burst transmissions.
NBC News didn’t identify the company and stated it denied the balloon used its network, based on its own investigation and discussions with U.S. officials.
The balloon drifted across U.S. airspace for several days last winter, before being shot down on Feb. 4.
Last week, NBC News reported that the Biden administration had planned to keep the balloon a secret from Congress and the public, while it was studied.
The White House denied it ever planned to keep the balloon a secret.