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The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center

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posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 04:48 PM

Guess this comes as no surprise with today's tech, the more advanced we become, the more open our lives get to be, but now our actions and words are forever stored. I can't help but think a literal final judgement may occur, deciding who is with em and who is against em. What better way to make a case than provide a persons every move for several years.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

“total information awareness” sounds like something from a sci-fi flick, where a master computer controls everything. So congress killed the idea in 03 at the height of terrorist paranoia, but now they vote it through. I bet there is a lot of money and lucrative contracts going on here.

In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.

And then there was this anomaly: Although this was supposedly the official ground-breaking for the nation’s largest and most expensive cybersecurity project, no one from the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for protecting civilian networks from cyberattack, spoke from the lectern. In fact, the official who’d originally introduced the data center, at a press conference in Salt Lake City in October 2009, had nothing to do with cybersecurity. It was Glenn A. Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, a man who had spent almost his entire career at the CIA. As head of collection for the intelligence community, he managed the country’s human and electronic spies.

Cyber attacks? Well sure we do need a defense for that, but does that mean 'storing' everything about everybody, as opposed to just monitoring and then storing what may be deemed a threat?

1 Visitor control center
A $9.7 million facility for ensuring that only cleared personnel gain access.
2 Administration
Designated space for technical support and administrative personnel.
3 Data halls
Four 25,000-square-foot facilities house rows and rows of servers.
4 Backup generators and fuel tanks
Can power the center for at least three days.
5 Water storage and pumping
Able to pump 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day.
6 Chiller plant
About 60,000 tons of cooling equipment to keep servers from overheating.
7 Power substation
An electrical substation to meet the center’s estimated 65-megawatt demand.
8 Security
Video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other protection will cost more than $10 million.

Powerful for sure!

Before yottabytes of data from the deep web and elsewhere can begin piling up inside the servers of the NSA’s new center, they must be collected. To better accomplish that, the agency has undergone the largest building boom in its history, including installing secret electronic monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities. Controlled by the NSA, these highly secured spaces are where the agency taps into the US communications networks, a practice that came to light during the Bush years but was never acknowledged by the agency. The broad outlines of the so-called warrantless-wiretapping program have long been exposed—how the NSA secretly and illegally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was supposed to oversee and authorize highly targeted domestic eavesdropping; how the program allowed wholesale monitoring of millions of American phone calls and email. In the wake of the program’s exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. What wasn’t revealed until now, however, was the enormity of this ongoing domestic spying program.

For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network.

I am suspicious of someone divulging this information. Is it just too big to hide, so they may as well address it, with their interpretation?


posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 04:49 PM

1 Geostationary satellites
Four satellites positioned around the globe monitor frequencies carrying everything from walkie-talkies and cell phones in Libya to radar systems in North Korea. Onboard software acts as the first filter in the collection process, targeting only key regions, countries, cities, and phone numbers or email.
2 Aerospace Data Facility, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado
Intelligence collected from the geostationary satellites, as well as signals from other spacecraft and overseas listening posts, is relayed to this facility outside Denver. About 850 NSA employees track the satellites, transmit target information, and download the intelligence haul.
3 NSA Georgia, Fort Gordon, Augusta, Georgia
Focuses on intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Codenamed Sweet Tea, the facility has been massively expanded and now consists of a 604,000-square-foot operations building for up to 4,000 intercept operators, analysts, and other specialists.
4 NSA Texas, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio
Focuses on intercepts from Latin America and, since 9/11, the Middle East and Europe. Some 2,000 workers staff the operation. The NSA recently completed a $100 million renovation on a mega-data center here—a backup storage facility for the Utah Data Center.
5 NSA Hawaii, Oahu
Focuses on intercepts from Asia. Built to house an aircraft assembly plant during World War II, the 250,000-square-foot bunker is nicknamed the Hole. Like the other NSA operations centers, it has since been expanded: Its 2,700 employees now do their work aboveground from a new 234,000-square-foot facility.
6 Domestic listening posts

Part of me thinks this is just inevitable growth, but also a result of enormous allotted funding for anti-terrorism.
"The NSA has long been free to eavesdrop on international satellite communications. But after 9/11, it installed taps in US telecom “switches,” gaining access to domestic traffic. An ex-NSA official says there are 10 to 20 such installations."
What an operation, and still there are hungry, poor and uneducated people churned out by the current system. Why do we not ever hear of such advents for something that can help humanity grow and thrive as opposed to just spying on everyone, then selling the info off the data mining industries.


posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 04:52 PM
Saw this last night. The thing that worries me the most is the ability to break encryption with ease.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by kamikanazuchi

I did leave out the emphasis on that, but that is a paramount point, thank you. I think that soon, even those codes that can take years to work out, may become child's play with developing technology. No doubt they will work on a new form of coding, but it always become tit for tat, so to say, although if I had to bet, I'd say they have some tech that we don't even know about.

Thanks for the reply,

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 05:29 PM
Sounds like a modern day McCarthyism frankenstein. A "little" black book containing people loosely associated with anti-american proclivities, probably gaining popularity by appealing to the fears of the population by the dogma preached by the MSM and government.

It's a despicable spawn of what some would call democracy and free-speech. The law is misconstrued and malformed in the name of justice and safety. Under such conditions I would feel more comfortable and safe living with anarchy, rather than live with an autonomous justice system or government that ignores the fundamental well being of its citizens, or worse, use the name of justice by perpetuating the lie that people should be governed by fear.

At least I'm not living in the U.S., but even so, it will soon spread. as most western countries adopt the policies and general attitude you deem appropriate.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 05:30 PM
I suddenly got this notion in my noggin, that those NSAyers are seeing the world as one big reality show, with endless dramas, comedies, soap operas, to follow. But only none of us are ever allowed to go on acting/contract strikes. Nor get paid.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 06:19 PM
reply to post by Droogie

The perfect flush and capture paradigm. We stir it, you suck it up and get sick, and we'll give you the cure.
I am not really surprised by this advent of this facility as I am the implications of it's abilities. We are a living politico-sci-fi project in the making.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 06:35 PM
We can only hope that this is one of those desperate last gasps of the old system that Ben Fulford describes--to be dismantled in the near future....

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 07:42 PM
Something I think is strange is the layout of the place seems to match Osama Bin Ladens Compound.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:20 PM
Is this really that strange?

it seems likes they are just going to store the entire internet. Of course they shouldn't be storing records of my phone calls, because they shouldn't have them.

This isn't some super scary complex. At least not to me.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:25 PM
reply to post by Xieon

Well I guess in the spirit of "do nothing wrong, there's nothing to worry about," some may not be concerned, whereas others just don't like having everything they do tracked and stored electronically. It does seem inevitable in this electronic world we live in, and there is certainly nothing we can do about it now that it's built, but I can see both sides of the argument, even in a defense sense. It is natural that people have mixed feelings, but at the least be made aware I suppose.


posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:26 PM
reply to post by JBA2848

Hmmm, other than the outline of the property being similar, I do not see much else that is similar.


posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:28 PM
reply to post by Ex_CT2

Well if i were a bettin' man, my money would go on it's permanence. There is too much money involved, terrorism is still alive and the data mining aspect has to be mega valuable to some companies as well as gov.


posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:32 PM
Nice update.

I hadn't heard much about it since the initial planning a couple yrs ago.
edit on 16-3-2012 by bg_socalif because: fat fingers.

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 09:19 PM
nvm, off topic

edit on 16-3-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:40 PM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

Worrying news indeed. It wasn't so long ago Hilarious Clinton said the new war is an information war, or something similar. As for the Internet being stored, I think they have been doing that for a while, this is just their latest future-proof upgrade but the encryption thing bugs me.

In my limited knowledge of encryption basics there are only 3 ways to do it (discounting a flaw in the algorithm or a backdoor)

1 Supercomputers that can exhaust the whole keyspace quickly (which still would require some kind of scanning to pick out the right key/decrypted message, which in itself could be a mammoth task depending if human language is in the un-encrypted message)
2 A new technology such as quantum computing that uses techniques unknown to the rest of the world.
3 Somehow gaining access (covertly) to everyones password, private key, security certificate or similar.

In any case, great find and definitely something to bear in mind.

edit on 16/3/12 by LightSpeedDriver because: Typo

edit on 16/3/12 by LightSpeedDriver because: Clarification

posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 03:58 AM

Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver

In my limited knowledge of encryption basics there are only 3 ways to do it (discounting a flaw in the algorithm or a backdoor)

Meh. Back in 1996 or so, an NSA wonk giving a presentation at Redstone let drop that they had an algorithmic attack of some sort against prime number factoring encryption techniques. "Techniques such as RSA are no longer a security issue"

posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 09:53 AM
reply to post by Bedlam

Well, all I know is Bruce Schneider is a good guy and on our side. Cryptography is way too math based for me to understand at all really but I do know they are constantly testing various methods for their effectiveness and weaknesses. AES Rijndael is the currently advised one if memory serves. I'd be interested to know if anyone has developed an effective attack against it though.

posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 02:17 PM
reply to post by LightSpeedDriver

Thanks for the reply Driver, and you bring up some good points.

A new technology such as quantum computing that uses techniques unknown to the rest of the world.

This one will surely unveil more abilities that may make the current encryption system ineffective, and something new will have to be made for security.
Quantum coding, now there's a field that may be growing.
In pondering how this stuff may evolve, I wonder if nano-security guards could be created and activated within systems, programmed to defend against attack?


posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 02:24 PM
I wonder how many "White Hats" are in the NSA?Or are they all Cabal?

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