Utah Site Home to NSA Data Server
A Massive Collection of Your Data finds a Home With the NSA – A review of the article “Inside the Matrix -The Black Box” by James Bamford, national intelligence writer
This is a story of “Data Servers.” Thu 22 Mar 2012 02:38 PM PDT
Review by Charlotte Wilson
New home with the NSA for the massive collection of data from the entire human experience – this is a review of the article, “Inside the Matrix -The Black Box” by NSA expert, James Bamford, April 2012, “Wired” magazine http://www.wired.com/magazine/
James Bamford should put the letters NSA in as his middle name. He is probably the most renown expert on National Security Agency for public consumption, with several best-selling books in his stable. If you were around in the 1980′s and interested in U.S. Intelligence agencies, you probably have “The Puzzle Palace” in your personal library; I know I do.
1983, Penguin Books. “The New York Times Book Review” said, “There have been glimpses inside the NSA before, but until now no one has published a comprehensive and detailed report on the agency.”
James Bamford was also the author of “Body of Secrets,” Random House, and more recently, “The Shadow Factory,” Doubleday, 2008.
This article by Bamford begins in an entertaining style, as he compares the Utah site of the NSA’s giant new facility being built in a location called Bluffdale, to the area’s previous and present residents – a large number of Mormon polygamists. He says, “Rather than Bibles, prophets and worshipers, this new temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts and armed guards.”
Bamford says the official name for the facility, “is blandly called Utah Data Center.” And, it is “a project of immense security…the heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013.”
There is a great deal of information in this article, but it should be mentioned that many of the facts come from various dates – from the present, back to 9/11, even back to Watergate, up to 2003, [in 2007 the Pentagon dubbed it’s worldwide communications network the Global Information Grid] and 2009.
“Matrix” as a title sounds dated – matrix is a mathematical term, but one that was popularized in science fiction from the 1990′s.
What we all want to know is what’s happening now; the author tells us about the new data site, but from whom, how and what is being collected – that is what is currently on our public mind.
The public asks, “Is it about me; am I in their data.”
In support of Mr. Bamford, readers can’t be too demanding – consider that current “intelligence data-data” may be difficult to come by – it’s still a secret.
While the obverse in technology also true – look how fast communication technology is changing and updating. In many cases, a book is often obsolete before it is published.
All known information will be here in Bluffdale (an ironically named location to choose) – will this be the earthbound version of the Akashic record. I guess it will be – was I a good girl…well, mostly.
Initially billed as a repository, probably the more important function and feature will be cryptanalyze or code breaking, common practice but now as a new life form, taken to a newer high, which in itself will add to the storage.
Now we find out how much energy money is being spent on this facility.
The facility inside, consists of “25,000 square-feet of rooms full of servers” [most probably larger]. The site will be self-sustaining; it well have fuel tanks large enough to power their backup generators for three days,” to cover an emergency. Does this mean energy here at the Utah Data Center is “sustainable.” That was a little green joke…but only just. You will see why in a moment.
The site has immense water storage and it’s own sewage system, and a “massive air conditioning system to keep all those servers cool,” according to Bamford.
The following fact is significant, “electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power (a utility provider) [did they put that out for bid] to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand…with a mammoth price tag – about $40 million a year, according to one estimate.”
Our belief is that the above electricity estimate is way too low; the Data Center will definitely cost more than $40
million a year, probably like $20 million a month or more. They are estimating low in order not to frighten or anger the public. What the author could have done was to compare this estimate to another large data server facility such as Facebook and/or Google servers.
From an article by Environmentalleader.com, “Google has broken its silence on energy consumption,announcing it consumed 2,259,998 MWh in 2010. Google’s data centers draw almost 260 MWof power. This is more power than Salt Lake City uses.
You can clearly see, if all data from the human experience will be held at the Utah Center, then of course that repository will be larger than Google’s data center. Doing the numbers, it’s easy to see that the projected $40 million is inaccurate.
What would the NSA say to this – that it’s none of our business, but the truth is, government cost of operation is every citizen’s business.
Bamford tells us, the NSA was, “overflowing with tens of billions of dollars in post 9/11 budget awards,” (how nice for the NSA) as a way to justify the huge expenditures and upkeep expenses of this future data center, even now in an era when many citizens want the U.S. Government to put a hold on expenses. With the Black Box, monetary allocations were probably made years ago. Maybe by 2002. This intelligence data storage and analysis center could easily exist, but without most of the enumerated costs.
Mr. Bamford is probably unaware that a superior technology exists. It is called Zero-Amp Technology, and it was offered to our government in 2002. I mention this to readers since the theme here is the public awareness of intelligence collection.
This new technology powers buildings of any size (is right now powering buildings), facilities of any kind and most especially servers with electric power, without fuel and without any pollution… To include the necessary cooling for those servers – no problem.
This means that the estimated cost of the said-yearly $40 million would be completely eliminated. And because this tech is unaffected by weather-related power outages, those emergency generators would be unnecessary, though probably still maintained for emergency purposes. But that backup fuel is flammable; I would hate to think of a fire with all that data. There is no fuel with Zero-Amp Technology, and it requires no power lines or transmission
Towers. That would make that new electric power substation redundant.
All these cost savings would surely total at least a $100 million dollars, even much more because the technology will last 30 to 50 years without replacing components. This is because power units run at 100% efficiency, and at cool or ambient temperature – heat is the enemy of anything mechanical.
With respect to the Department of Energy having this technology in 2002, at their disposal, the inventor of Zero-Amp Technology, Peter Sumaruck thought it was his patriotic duty to help his country, but after his experiences, he recently said, “I gave them their chance. Now they can’t be trusted.”
There have been more than 12 attempts on Sumaruck’s life, the most recent in Jan. 7, 2012, and none of those attempts by foreign powers.
Yes, “they” know all this; these are the kinds of reports that will go into accessible available storage in the Data Center.
Since the Utah Data Center is a secret facility, it could have been built with a huge cost saving and if needed kept a secret making the U.S. a $100 million richer…or bragged about to the world, in this very article – how proud our government could have been to be able to take the credit for taking down Global Warming worldwide.
What happened to Zero-Amp Technology. It was shelved, not because of its operating ability but because it was competition to oil, gas, and nuclear. It was contracted to power the ground operations in Iraq, but shelved in 2004.
Now that our government currently says they are open to any and all forms of producing energy, will we see ZAT energy turning on and off the lights in the White House, and powering servers – for free – at the future Utah Data Center. Fortunately, here is a new issue that can be entirely nonpartisan – bringing down the costs of government. Everyone says this what they want.
The Data Center won’t be completed until its projected opening in September of 2013. Until that time, intelligence data will be stored in the usual manner, as described by Mr. Bamford, in servers across the country, according to the “Wired” article. He talks about “telecom (companies) that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits,” starting years ago. This domestic spying program has of course been reported in the news.
A former NSA crypto-mathematician William Binney described the wiretapping program, codenamed Stellar Wind. “He explained…the NSA chose to put the wiretapping rooms in key junction points (network intercept stations) throughout the country, in large windowless buildings known as switches,” in order to access both international and domestic traffic. This has been known for some time, but nonetheless, illuminating.
Author, Bamford also mentions how the NSA gleans information from monitored AT&T satellite communication earth stations, like receivers at locations named Roaring Creek (how bucolic) in rural Pennsylvania…and in Arbuckle, California. The article calls Arbuckle “remote” but it is no-mans land for sure – perfect for a secret operation.
Project Steller Wind, “was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just evesdropping, but also inspection of domestic mail.”
He does not refer to international mail. I personally have been told, by others than Mr. Bamford, that the opening of international mail has been going on for the past fifty years; that too would include data storage, but in the days in “filing cabinets.”
All this data storage is extremely expensive, to include facility construction, but remember, the NSA has plenty of money, not to worry.
Keep in mind that James Bamford is always intelligent and fair. Store another consideration in your mental record, Bamford is only allowed to report what “they” want him to. Also, imagine a massive data server room; can you picture just where James Bamford’s, “Wired” article will reside …and where this article review will belocated – safe and secure…and quiet, for posterity, maybe something like Forest Lawn Cemetery.
For opinions and questions, contact information officer, Charlotte Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org