Deep in the Utah desert, at the feet of the Wasatch mountain range, is one of the most secret, most guarded, most secure facilities in the world. Here is where everything you say is analyzed to search for security threats against the United States.
It’s the National Security Agency’s Utah Data centre, a $US2 billion facility that will capture, record and scrutinise every communication in the world, from emails to phone calls to text messages to chats. It will also crack codes. According to Threat Level, the encryption cracking will be the most powerful in the world, and will help get into “financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications.”
There will be four data rooms, 2322.6m² each, full of servers, cooled down by 60,000 tonnes of machinery and 6.4 million litres of water per day. The site has its own 65MW electrical substation, as well as backup generators that can power the whole thing for three days, uninterrupted. Just the video security system alone costs more than $US10 million.
The Utah data centre is the centrepiece of the Global Information Grid, a military project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it. This centre — with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world. [Threat Level]