In the little town of Bluffdale, Utah, between the Wasatch Range and the Oquirrh Mountains, the National Security Agency (NSA) is building what will be the nation’s largest spy center, reports Wired, a print magazine and online publication reporting on technological developments and their effects, including electronic privacy. Dubbed the Utah Data Center, the project is already employing thousands of hardhat workers in its construction and will son have some 10,000 construction workers building a data center that will be more than five times the size of the nation’s capitol, Wired reports.
“We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project, told a local reporter. Plans for the center include a $10 million antiterrorism protection program, a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center, the magazine said.
The $2 billion center is scheduled to be in operation by September 2013. Its purpose will be to intercept and analyze electronic communications both foreign and domestic. The information will be stored in vast data bases that will include the complete contents of private emails, cellphone calls, and Google searches, as well as “all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter,’ ” Wired reports, noting that the center will be in many respects the realization of the Total Information Awareness program created during the first term of the Bush administration. Congress killed the program after it produced a public and media outcry over invasion of privacy.