Disturbing News on the Early Opening of the NSA’s Utah Datacenter and the FBI

Daily Kos – by Bob Swern

It’s amazing what our inverted totalitarian government can accomplish when they focus their collective institutionally paranoid minds upon a project. Take the NSA’s massive surveillance data processing and collections center in Bluffdale, Utah. As James Bamford noted in early 2012, it was scheduled to be up and running by September 2013, two months from now. But, according to NSA whistleblower Russell Tice, it already is.  

And, before reading this eye-opening piece, I just want to state the obvious to all those reading these words, because this certainly is worthy of repetition: The simple fact remains that if all this information (and I earn my livelihood, in part, by working with personal-private information on a daily basis) is accessible to domestic law enforcement authorities, IT WILL BE ABUSED, and it most certainly is being abused; and, sooner or later, the odds are that this abuse will egregiously target not just YOU (it already has), but virtually all that struggle via non-violent protest for change in America.

On top of that, after the report on Bluffdale’s early opening, I’m posting an information-filled page from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) concerning the FBI. It’s a wake-up call to a greater reality for all those that think our country’s surveillance state isn’t–and in very basic ways that literally define the term: institutionalized racism–an out-of-control exercise in ethnic profiling.

The NSA’s Massive Data Center Is Coming Online Ahead Of Schedule — And It’s More Powerful Than You ThoughtAccording to an NSA whistle-blower, the agency is routinely collecting the full contents of domestic communications. And its supersized Utah Data Center is up and running.

posted on July 15, 2013 at 3:09pm EDT

The National Security Agency’s massive Utah Data Center, designed for communications storage and processing is already up and running, despite agency claims the center won’t open until September. Opening the facility — the largest of its kind in history — is the key final step that will allow the agency to collect and store massive amounts of data on United States citizens. The NSA has numerous other data centers, but the Utah facility will be the central repository, enabling data collection on an unprecedented scale.

And according to Russ Tice, a former NSA intelligence analyst who still maintains close ties with numerous colleagues at the agency, it’s not just metadata — which has been a key distinction in the administration’s defense of its intelligence gathering programs. The agency, according to Tice, is currently able to collect the full contents of digital communications. That includes the contents of emails, text messages, Skype communications, and phone calls, as well as financial information, health records, legal documents, and travel documents. This comports with statements given this week by a former senior intelligence official, claiming that NSA Director Keith Alexander’s ethos was to “collect it all, tag it, store it … And whatever it is you want, you go searching for it.”

The NSA’s ability to collect and store such vast quantities of information is difficult to grasp. But so is the enormous footprint of the data center in Bluffdale, Utah, 25 miles south of Salt Lake City. The facility, which cost the government $2 billion, covers 1 million square feet, 100,000 of which is purely for computer servers and storage hardware. According to James Bamford’s Wired magazine article published last year, “The Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (10^24 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)”…

…“I kept saying [in 2006 and 2009]: It is so much worse, but I can’t explain why right now,” Tice says. “Well, what I’m telling you right now, this is the rest of the story.”

While Tice was still at the NSA, he was able to see the identities of numerous targets of surveillance, which included high-level United States government officials. In the evenings, NSA analysts would be given handwritten notes on yellow legal-pad paper listing contact information for targets, including then-Senate hopeful Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, former CIA Director David Petraeus, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain, and Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein. Other targets include multiple three-star generals and admirals, lawyers, and members of the Senate and the House, including members of the intelligence committees and the armed services committees…

Yes, when it comes to our nation’s “war on terrorism,” we’ve been witnessing a tremendous amount of propaganda, disinformation, and…lies emanating from inside the Beltway in the past few months (which has been preceded by more than a decade of propaganda, disinformation and lies, as well).

Just this week, and even in today’s NY Times, we’ve been reminded—on more than one occasion–that our nation’s leaders tell us one thing as they move in the completely opposite and wrong direction, where and when it matters most.


One thought on “Disturbing News on the Early Opening of the NSA’s Utah Datacenter and the FBI

  1. Ha! I knew this thing was already opened when they said a few weeks ago that it was scheduled to be open in October. Anyone who thought otherwise, is naive.

    They’ve had this thing up and running for months, maybe even years now, underground. They’ve just put a few layers of concrete over the site and covered it with a building or two and then said, “Hey everyone, now that you know we are spying on you and can do nothing about it, we are publicly stating we have this new data center and will just continue doing it since we basically know that you won’t doing anything to stop us” and making it as though it were something amazingly new. It’s basically their way of making their illegal underground operations LEGAL, like they have done everything else these days.

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