File:Utah Data Center of the NSA in Bluffdale Utah.png

The Utah Data Center will gather data from intercepted satellite communications and underwater ocean cables. Analysts will analyze, decipher, and store the information for the purpose of spotting potential national security threats. The facility will be heavily fortified with backup generators and powerful equipment to keep the vast computer network cool.

The Utah Data Center, formally known as the Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center, is a data storage facility being built for the United States National Security Agency intelligence bureau that is designed to be a primary storage resource capable of storing data on the scale of yottabytes.[1][2]

It is alleged to capture "all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Internet searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital 'pocket litter'," though its precise purpose is secret.[1] According to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, the federal government is legally prohibited from collecting, storing, analyzing, or disseminating the content of the communications of U.S. persons, whether inside or outside of the United States, unless authorized by an individual warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.[3]

The planned structure is 1 million or 1.5 million square feet[2][4][5] and it is projected to cost from $1.5 billion[6][7][8] to $2 billion when finished in September 2013.[1][2] One report suggested that it will cost another $2 billion for hardware, software, and maintenance.[2] The completed facility is expected to have a power demand of 65 megawatts, costing about $40 million per year.[1][2] It is located on Camp Williams, near Bluffdale, Utah.

Possible purpose[edit | edit source]

On August 22, 2012 The New York Times published an Op-doc in a forum of short documentaries produced by independent filmmakers that was produced by Laura Poitras and entitled, The Program.[9] It is a preliminary work that will be part of a documentary planned for release in 2013. The documentary is based on interviews with William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the United States National Security Agency, who became a whistleblower and described the details of the Stellar Wind project that he helped to design. The program he worked on had been designed for foreign espionage, but in 2001 was converted to spying on citizens in the United States, prompting disclosures by him and others concerned that the actions were illegal and unconstitutional. The subject implies that the facility being built at Bluffdale is a facility that is part of that domestic surveillance, intended for storage of massive amounts of data collected from a broad range of communications that may be mined readily for intelligence without warrants.[10] The author reports that on October 29, 2012 the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that were used to authorize the creation of such facilities and justify such actions.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bamford, James (15 March 2012). "The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)". Wired. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Kenyon, Henry (Jan 07, 2011). "New NSA data center breaks ground on construction -- Defense Systems". Defense Systems. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  3. "FISA Amendments Act of 2008". Wall Street Journal. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  4. "NSA to store yottabytes in Utah data centre". CNET Networks. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  5. Bamford, James. "Who’s in Big Brother’s Database? by James Bamford". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  6. LaPlante, Matthew D. (July 2, 2009). "New NSA center unveiled in budget documents". Salt Lake Tribune (MediaNews Group). Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  7. LaPlante, Matthew D. (July 2, 2009). "Spies like us: NSA to build huge facility in Utah". Salt Lake Tribune (MediaNews Group). Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  8. Fidel, Steve. "Utah's $1.5 billion cyber-security center under way". Deseret News. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  9. Poitras, Laura, The Program, New York Times Op-Docs, August 22, 2012
  10. Lawson, Kent, What Does the NSA Know About You?, Private WiFi, August 27, 2012

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