Saturday, June 29, 2013

the NSA's enormous Utah spy-data warehouse

NSA is collecting millions of U.S. phone records along with digital communications on nine major Internet providers and is likely to store it in secret at an immense Utah facility, scheduled to open in October.

The mammoth center, which cost some $1.7 billion, will allow the agency to store more and, perhaps more importantly, keep information for much longer. It may hold up to a yottabyte of information, the largest measurement computer scientists have.  
A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text.

Beyond just backup tapes, the facility likely holds row upon row of server computers like these at Google's data center in The Dalles, Ore. Google uses these data centers to store email, photos, video, calendar entries and other information shared by its users.

An aerial view of the cooling units at the NSA's enormous Utah Data Center in Bluffdale

The long, squat buildings span 1.5 million square feet, and are filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails.

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