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NSA Data Center Brings Concerns Over Security and Privacy and Jobs

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-take-the-good-you-take-the-bad dept.

Privacy 138

chamilto0516 writes "Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion. The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency. The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander [director of the NSA] said, 'No...we don't hold data on U.S. citizens,' adding that the NSA staff 'take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.' But critics, including former NSA employees, say the data center is front and center in the debate over liberty, security and privacy." According to University of Utah computing professor Matthew Might, one thing is clear about the Utah Data Center, it means good paying jobs. "The federal government is giving money to the U.'s programming department to develop jobs to fill the NSA building," he says.

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Duplicate datacenter (-1, Troll)

StinkyBrain (2896485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446611)

Why build this when Google has the data centers and is already spying private citizens?

Re:Duplicate datacenter (2)

joebagodonuts (561066) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446641)

Control

Re:Duplicate datacenter (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446829)

Waddya mean? The NSA/CIA/DEA/FBI owns Google.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446909)

Waddya mean? The NSA/CIA/DEA/FBI owns Google.

Isn't it the other way around? Who has the bigger budget? Less Congressional oversight? Better food?

Re:Duplicate datacenter (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447157)

Isn't it the other way around?

That's true actually. The government is subservient to business interests, essentially nothing more than their private security.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447075)

I won't believe this without a photograph of a cleverly folded $5 bill to back up your claims.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (4, Funny)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446655)

Three data centers for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One data center to rule them all, One data center to find them,
One data center to bdata center them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447405)

Hmmm. What do Mordor and Utah have in common?
  • dry area -- check
  • surrounded by mountains -- check
  • has inland sea -- check
  • Mordor [google.com] Utah [gstatic.com]

  • populated by orcs -- ahem
  • ruled by evil overlord -- OK, he's not that evil. And he has two eyes.

Re: bdata center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448189)

you want to watch those search and replace spells, they can have unintended consequences

Re:Duplicate datacenter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446693)

Redundancy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundancy_(engineering)

It's good practice in the industry.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446849)

Because this has 5 zettabytes of storage. Never mind that would be about a billion 5 TB drives, and that the global annual production of hard drives is on the order of 100 million drives. After all, why would Google need even about 800 Gb for every person in the world? Why would google need to hold enough data to account for global internet traffic for the next 180 years at current rates, without ever needing to buy more storage when it becomes denser/cheaper in the future. Maybe they are only storing a year's worth of internet traffic, but want to spell out every byte as a twitter sized message.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446911)

Because this has 5 zettabytes of storage. Never mind that would be about a billion 5 TB drives, and that the global annual production of hard drives is on the order of 100 million drives. After all, why would Google need even about 800 Gb for every person in the world? Why would google need to hold enough data to account for global internet traffic for the next 180 years at current rates, without ever needing to buy more storage when it becomes denser/cheaper in the future. Maybe they are only storing a year's worth of internet traffic, but want to spell out every byte as a twitter sized message.

Skynet. Self awareness takes processing power (most Americans not withstanding).

Re:Duplicate datacenter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447207)

Of course the 5 zettabytes includes the tape robot storage tier. The near-line disk storage is probably only in the modest petabyte to exabyte range...

Re:Duplicate datacenter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447681)

Except that annual tape cartridge sales are also on the order of 100-200 million a year, and many of those are not larger than 2 TB.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447433)

Yes, it's an absurd amount of data, but I can think of several impractical things to do with it that would be right up their alley.

Re:Duplicate datacenter (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447295)

Why build this when Google has the data centers and is already spying private citizens?

because sometimes Google asks for a warrant.

Privacy vs "securing this nation" (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446657)

the NSA staff 'take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.'

Is anyone else having difficulty parsing this sentence?

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446711)

the NSA staff 'take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.'

Is anyone else having difficulty parsing this sentence?

It is "doublespeak" at its finest.

If you don't know what "doublespeak" is, read and learn :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublespeak

-

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446717)

"Out national security mission requires that we say we are not spying on you."

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449027)

I'm not sure if they're outright spying on US Citizens, or if they're merely participating in some legal shell games.

Most nations prevent their covert operations groups from legally spying on their own citizens. However, most of those nations still want to do it. The legal trick they employ is to spy on their allies citizens, and get their allies to spy on their own citizens, and then swap data.

So, the NSA may very well not be sniffing your packets. However, the UK might be doing so, and the NSA might be sniffing UK packets. Both governments just look the other way, and then when they want to know about somebody they make a friendly inquiry of the other.

There are probably countless other variations on this sort of thing - ways to legally tell Congress that the laws are being followed to the letter while completely ignoring the spirit of those laws.

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449343)

I can quite confidently assure you that the NSA is sniffing your packets in the US, in the UK and most of the rest of the world. They are recording your phone calls, your VOIP, your Skype and your Google+ Hangouts. They have records of every electronic financial transaction. They are also logging your twitter, your Facebook - even your private Facebook, your texts, your phone's GPS location, wifi-enhanced GPS location and tower triangulation. They know when you VPN to Finland, and the content of that stream, how long it takes you to get to work and where you stopped on the way home every single day. They know your medical history, who your friends are, who your family is, your political affiliation, your porn preferences, your positions on gun control, abortion, midget wrestling and furries. If you have a shrink they have audio recordings of your sessions. They know more about you than you do. They store all this data and they never forget.

But they don't care. You are not in the slightest interesting to them. Storing all this data and analyzing it is just their job. It is to eight nines a very boring job handled by automation right up until you start - probably unbeknownst to you - intersecting with some data point that impacts their national security mission. And then they hit the "replay" button and dig into what makes you tick. They seriously don't give a damn if you're cheating on your taxes, running a brothel or slinging hash. They do care if your brother-in-law introduced you to his new friend he met on vacay in Pakistan and you take up some encrypted chats.

If that wasn't true they wouldn't be doing their job.

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (5, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446757)

the NSA staff 'take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.'

Is anyone else having difficulty parsing this sentence?

Is anyone else having difficulty believing them when they tell me my liberties and privacy is their most important task? Or is it violating said liberties and privacy that's their Job One? There's a reason why one of the 4 great lies of history is "Hi. I'm from the Government and I'm here to help!"

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447241)

Just remember there is no need for them to spy on US citizens. After all if they want to do that they would just have the FBI do it. After all a fair amount of the time a pretty significant amount of spying can be done without even getting a warrant. I know people love to get extra paranoid and conspiracy theory bound here but look at the logistical complications. It isn't worth it for them to do it, and if something did catch their interest they would just call their buddies at the FBI who don't have the same political problems. From a purely beauracratic, political, and logistical standpoint they are probably fairly clean.

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (3, Insightful)

PhamNguyen (2695929) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446859)

Sideshow Bob: (to Marge) Madame, your children are no more... than a pair of ill-bred trouble-makers.

Homer: Lisa, too?

Sideshow Bob: Especially Lisa! But, especially Bart!

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447037)

Though grammatically ill-formed, it is clear enough that the statement is a boldfaced lie intended to assuage the masses. And it will work, as all such lies do.

They will store gobs of data about American citizens in this database. Basically everything they can get their grubby mitts on. And they will use this data to protect the rich from the poor. The greater good will only be served when doing so directly benefits our first-class (super-rich) citizens.

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (4, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447089)

Here's all you need to know:

How do they say "fuck you" at the NSA?

"Trust me, trust me."

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447133)

When you don't know any of these people personally, it's easy to shoot off barbs.

I've found NSA staff to be competent, reasonable, helpful and very well aware of their mission.
Not so much the military, police or specific entities in the executive branch.

This is in the context of a security guy in a big US corporation liaising with the government security organizations.

I'd trust the NSA to know well what they've got on their computers, as opposed to say, the FBI, who in my dealings with them on LI (lawful intercept) in telecoms networks, were completely fucking clueless.

DJ
 

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (5, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447427)

"When you don't know any of these people personally, it's easy to shoot off barbs."

No, when the NSA has no check on it it's easy to shoot off barbs. Especially since they're in the business of spying on US citizens. When AT&T openly colludes with the NSA to pass all traffic to the NSA it's not just AT&T that loses my respect.

And I'm not taking YOUR word that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing.

Re:Privacy vs "securing this nation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448163)

Ignorant fool. Trust in A.C.

-A.C.

we don't need this. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446673)

Job creation is a horrible justification for spending taxpayers' money on spying.

Re:we don't need this. (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446765)

Especially when actually getting those jobs with NSA means offering up your entire
life for continuous monitoring, not only on the job but every minute of every day for
the rest of your life.

Odd that Utah is so interested in the jobs that they offer up their universities to this purpose.

Re:we don't need this. (2)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446955)

Someone who applies for a low-level job at NSA probably actually believes in what they do there. Then it comes naturally that they accept to be surveilled. They know it's for their own protection, and the state's.

Re:we don't need this. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447409)

Especially when actually getting those jobs with NSA means offering up your entire life for continuous monitoring, not only on the job but every minute of every day for the rest of your life.

Anyone who has a security clearance has been through this gauntlet, and that a whole lot of people.

Re:we don't need this. (3, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446867)

Depends on your POV. 'Job creation' is a very effective propaganda tool. It also works in the pollution industries, like coal mining, oil drilling, old forest logging, etc., every well, especially in economically depressed areas. When they claim they are under attack the way the state and the church do, people instinctively come running to their aid.

Re:we don't need this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447155)

It's funny. You liberals claim to know the evils of government, but you're hell-bent on making it as big as possible and disarming citizens.

Re:we don't need this. (4, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447515)

'Job creation' is a very effective propaganda tool. It also works in the ...

...green energy stimulus programs, "community organising", unions, tax hike pushes, anti-religion movements, and most (all?) political movements from communism to socialism to fascism to monarchies to dictatorships to theocracies.

Dont pretend that the evil capitalist planet-killing industrialists have a monopoly on flat-out lying about job creation to further an end.

Re:we don't need this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446969)

It's actually an example of the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:we don't need this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447187)

How 'bout doing it for the kids? Now that's the golden ticket! Terrorists? Hah, mere peanuts! No, the American people will suffer any level of intrusion into their private lives, and will eagerly give up any civil liberty we ask to be sacrificed in the name of the children. Jobs? That just sweetens the deal. Icing on the cake.

Re:we don't need this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448481)

I'd hate to go Godwin but many crimes against humanity also created jobs. Camps don't run themselves. Capcatcha: travesty. Does it have a word association algorithm?

Trade liberty for jobs! (1)

D1G1T (1136467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446681)

Sounds like China. Or the pre-civil-war South.

Re:Trade liberty for jobs! (1)

Ultracrepidarian (576183) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446933)

Or Germany in the 30's.

Interesting cycle (4, Insightful)

MLBs (2637825) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446685)

The government is borrowing money from China to pay for jobs of people who spy on China.
I wonder what would happen when this flow of cash stops.

Re:Interesting cycle (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446963)

A few points:

1. There is no flow of cash. The money China lent us is already lent. The actual flow of cash from China is relative peanuts (something like 100 billion over the course of last year).
2. The government has alternative sources of revenue from taxes and straight up printing money.
3. These jobs will not be the first items on the chopping block should the "cash flow stop." We spend a ridiculous amount of money on all kinds of things we can sacrifice if it comes down to it.

Re:Interesting cycle (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447827)

I wonder what would happen when this flow of cash stops.

Somebody else starts buying US debt.
 
Otherwise, I hope you not thinking of the wingutter theory that China will suddenly sell off all their US holding (with the intention of crashing the US economy.) The wingnutters seem oblivious to the fact that Chinese will never do that - because it would not only crash their own economy, but also that of one of their largest markets, and severely damage the economies of their remaining markets. The Chinese are many things, but they aren't stupid. Their leadership knows full well what will happen if the middle and working class they've created is suddenly out of work.

Well paying jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446731)

Well paying jobs, not good paying jobs. The jobs pay well. They don't pay good.

Re:Well paying jobs (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447289)

Pretty soon some manager will realize that they can more cost effectively offshore those jobs to India...

Re:Well paying jobs (1)

catherder_finleyd (322974) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447447)

Extremely unlikely that these jobs will go offshore:

1. Even unclassified government contract jobs go require citizens or green cards. Classified jobs require citizenship.

2. The Salt Lake City area is lower in cost compared to alternative areas.It already gets companies that want cheaper workers, but needs them in the US.

Re:Well paying jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447493)

Sure it might be a US contractor taking the job then turning around and farming it out to 1099 overseas labor.

Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446735)

NSA is one of the few organizations with the resources to take over the bitcoin network.

Anyone else suspect that this new datacenter of theirs contains hardware with monster SHA256 hashing power?

Where did the number 5 zettabytes come from? This is shitty reporting.

Re:Bitcoin (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446753)

The idea that the government (and government) would try and screw with the block chain is ridiculous, there's no way that would help them achieve their goals. If there's any kind of analysis the NSA would want to do, it'd be analysing the block chain and possibly crossing it with their own crawl of the web/peoples emails/etc. If Bitcoin were to get large enough to be of interest to the NSA (which I doubt would happen anytime soon), de-anonymising the block chain is what they'd be interested in - not out running it.

Re:Bitcoin (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447503)

It's probably already of interest to the NSA given its alleged use in alleged illegal activities and the fact that it leaves a digital trail that an organization like NSA could potentially use to track who is paying whom.

Re:Bitcoin (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446883)

zettabyte = 8 gang members

Re:Bitcoin (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447105)

Why would they want to take it over if they created it in the first place?

http://i.qkme.me/3taipf.jpg [i.qkme.me]

Think about it. The creator of bitcoin had a deep understanding of networks and cryptography. The block chain is a *public* history of every bitcoin transaction worldwide. Perfect transparency for whoever wants to monitor it. A team at the NSA is as good an explanation for who "Satoshi Nakamoto" was as anything else.

Re:Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447179)

NSA is one of the few organizations with the resources to take over the bitcoin network.

Any entity with 100 million USD to throw away could do this.

Anyone else suspect that this new datacenter of theirs contains hardware with monster SHA256 hashing power?

No.

Re:Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448963)

Jesus christ bitcoin people are delusional.

zettabyte? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446767)

A zettabyte is on the order of 1e9 (billion) hard drives.
So I think not.

Re:zettabyte? (2)

magarity (164372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446791)

Not only that, but how do you generate that much data in the first place? Require everyone to wear their Google Glasses 24/7 and capture it all in high def?

Re:zettabyte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446835)

Not only that, but how do you generate that much data in the first place?

You just have to input every terrorist subject in the system. Name, a small picture, date of birth and address would suffice, with compression of course.

Re:zettabyte? (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446893)

Not only that, but how do you generate that much data in the first place? Require everyone to wear their Google Glasses 24/7 and capture it all in high def?

Trust me, that is never an issue. From my experience any time you give an organization free space... it will be filled!

Now, I'm not saying it will be useful stuff, but it will be full.

Re:zettabyte? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447453)

Not only that, but how do you generate that much data in the first place? Require everyone to wear their Google Glasses 24/7 and capture it all in high def?

Trust me, that is never an issue. From my experience any time you give an organization free space... it will be filled!

Now, I'm not saying it will be useful stuff, but it will be full.

Information expands to fill organizational free space,

Re:zettabyte? (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448099)

Information expands to fill organizational free space,

And butts expand to fit the office chairs they sit in.

--
BMO

Room 641A and Hepting v. AT&T (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446895)

look up these two court cases. this is how they get the data. they basically put splices into the internet. we know about the ones in the US - we have no idea what they are doing outside the us, on undersea cables, in side various 'less than democratic countries' (Alexandria, Egypt has had a major internet backbone hub for over 15 years IIRC)

Re:zettabyte? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446929)

We gots ALL the porn.

Not Buying It [Period] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446805)

According to Presidential Executive Orders by both the George Walker Bush and Barak Hussein Obama II, for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive Office the President, citizens of the United States of America have been determined to be enemy combatants, are enemy of the state, and are the greatest threat the Office of the President.

So Herr Schmidt is worried about the domestication of USA military drones regarding 'privacy'? That's like saying he is worried about Al Capone's insurance business in Chicago causing inflation of base rates. Come on, Capone was killing people left and right and what city Mayor will turn down his own personal drone to do the killing he has always dreamed about.

"No...we don't hold data on U.S. citizens" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446811)

But we sure as hell analyze it as it passes through and send it on to some other agency who holds it.

Security and Privacy and Jobs (1)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446845)

Is this meaning "(Security and Privacy) and Jobs", "Security and (Privacy and Jobs)", or "Security, Privacy, and Jobs"? I think probably the first one.

One thing's for sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446863)

They take acting courses at NSA to be able to say they don't keep data on USA citizens with a straight face.

Look up Trailblazer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446885)

If you understand the story of Trailblazer and Tom Drake, you understand everything you need to know about this project.

While you are at it, read "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright - the NSA missed 9/11 not because of a lack of funding, but because of turf wars within the federal government between CIA, NSA, and FBI, and bureaucratic malpractice. Theoretically that was fixed under Bush when the CIA became just another of the dozen+ spy agencies under the umbrella of the DNI.

Most empires crumble when they go broke on military spending out of some paranoid delusion about the idea that they must control the world through the use of force. America was supposed to be different. . . our ideas were supposed to win, not our bullets. And they have been winning... except on our own soil, where they seem to be in sunset, as every one comes out of the woodwork to feed on the federal teat, and when you ask them to justify the billions of dollars they spend, they say "can't tell you, its classified" and start throwing people in prison.

Willing enslavement? (3, Insightful)

sacrabos (2563893) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446897)

The U.of U seems to be okay with it as long as it's creating paying jobs. He's not concerned with the issues, just as long as they get money. We're forging our own chains of slavery to the government.

You should see it (1)

wakeboarder (2695839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446993)

The building is huge! I heard it was 1sq mi.

Re:You should see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447231)

I haven't seen it, but, have fun flying into salt lake city in the winter time

"good" (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447021)

It drives me crazy when otherwise intelligent persons use the phrase "good paying". As though they're sucking up to constituents who are too poorly educated to differentiate between adverbs ("well") and adjectives ("good").

I realize this makes me sound like a petty grammar Nazi.

Re:"good" (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447091)

It isn't a well paying job. It's a good job. And it's a paying job.

Re:"good" (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447119)

It isn't a well paying job. It's a good job. And it's a paying job.

Seems to me it's either a "well-paying job", or a "good, paying job" (using your interpretation).

But since it's hardly worth mentioning that a job is a paying job, so I doubt your interpretation is what the speaker meant.

Re:"good" (1)

Ultracrepidarian (576183) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448649)

but, are they doing good?

Re:"good" (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447535)

God bless petty grammar Nazis! The world needs more of them.

Re:"good" (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448631)

Schools in many states stopped teaching things like that a few decades ago. I'm in my mid-30s, and my classes didn't study grammar beyond the basics (noun, verb, adjective, adverb identification), so we had to learn "naturally" just through reading; it worked fine for those of us that did read for fun or with our parents at home, but not so well for the others.

(AFAIK, the change was the result of a mixture of funding being cut severely to schools in my state and voters/pundits decrying grammar & spelling as wastes of time we should learn just as part of reading, not as separate full subjects.)

See... (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447053)

That's why he's the director of the NSA and I'm not. Because he can say "No, it will not hold data on US Citizens," and keep a straight face. No matter how much I practiced, I'd have to laugh the evil villain laugh after making a statement like that. Even if I had all the other qualifications, that would keep me out of the job.

Re:See... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447607)

If you aren't stone cold enough to bullshit a polygraph you can't get the necessary SCI clearances to get that high in the organization. Keeping a straight face during a press meeting is easy by comparison.

Re:See... (1)

Ultracrepidarian (576183) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448673)

I was interviewed once by the FBI concerning a programmer who had worked for me. He had applied for a sensitive job that involved inventory of nuclear weapons for the navy. When asked about drug use, I told them he had told me he had tried every drug known to man. On the other hand I told them he had always been forthright with me and that all they had to do was ask him. He got the job.

NSA is super-smart on this one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447109)

Building a facility far from the crowded, high cost of living area of the DC metroplex (MD, VA, and DC) is a brilliant idea. I give the NSA credit for this one. Decent paying jobs in a low cost of living area will attract good people. Whatever else you can say about the NSA, they did this right. I wish more government jobs would migrate away from the MD-VA-DC military industrial complex corridor.

Re:NSA is super-smart on this one! (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447605)

Building a facility far from the crowded, high cost of living area of the DC metroplex (MD, VA, and DC) is a brilliant idea. I give the NSA credit for this one. Decent paying jobs in a low cost of living area will attract good people. Whatever else you can say about the NSA, they did this right. I wish more government jobs would migrate away from the MD-VA-DC military industrial complex corridor.

What is your first language?

It won't attract good people. It will attract people regardless of their moral status. Given where it's sited, it might end up being staffed by Apostolic United Brethren sister wives.

If it needs many people at all. It's a data center that will be mostly occupied by servers and mostly accessed from elsewhere. The advantages of building a data center in Utah are:

  • low cost of power
  • modest cost air conditioning needs
  • good connectivity to the broader network

good pay?! (2)

GregNorc (801858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447167)

Define "good pay". Back when I looked at working for a similar agency, the pay was usually GS-9 at max to start.

GS-9 is $47,448-$61,678 according to the 2012 locality tables [opm.gov] - not very good at all considering someone with a similar education could earn 90-100k in private industry.

Sure, it's better than most people in Utah make, but by no means "good" pay by any objective metric.

Re:good pay?! (2)

thoth (7907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448749)

GS-9 is near starting level. I was hired the same time as a guy with 3 years out of college, and he was brought in as a 9.

considering someone with a similar education could earn 90-100k in private industry.

Yes, but with 3 years out of school AND in the Utah area? If you live/work in the Bay Area your perspective on tech salaries is skewed.

Sure, it's better than most people in Utah make, but by no means "good" pay by any objective metric.

Better than most people Utah IS the metric of the local market. Objective metric? WTF, did God write down salary tables for the whole world to adhere to?

Re:good pay?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448899)

It's utah.

That would be damn good money for entry level.

legwork (1)

Max_W (812974) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447173)

No data-center would ever substitute the legwork.

Too many chiefs in data-centers and too few Indians patrolling. This is the problem.

Who approved this spending ? (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447351)

Was this voted on in Congress ?

I thought not.

Mother of All Crackers (0)

hackus (159037) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447407)

Hacking I have to say is one of the most uninteresting things IMHO. I mean really, who the hell cares you cracked something beyond the notoriety.

That does not mean however, I do not carefully think about security in general during my design of software or computer networks.

But, this new data center the CIA is building, is a gigantic target, and if you can break into something like that, keep yourself secret.

Damn.

You would have access to just about everything about everyone on the planet.

Oh, and please. The press release by these people on what they do and do not track is laughable. Already I have friends who are telling me about the secret rooms going up all over the planet in telco facilities. You won't be able to buy or sell online without your records going from the CIA, to the FBI and then over to the IRS with this facilities new capabilities.

It will actually take about 10 years to fully come on-line, but once it does.

Damn.

I would do just about anything to get a crack at that facility because once you do, all sorts of interesting things would be possible.
(i.e. Blackmail, Investment Opportunities ... etc.)

You know, as I think about this, the great thing about this New World Order, and as part of it a complete police state they are building, the only way they are going to have a chance of this working is by using computers, and more than likely using Windows, Oracle and all of the other crappy commercial junk I use everyday.
(Fascist police states are normally driven by the same corporations who benefit from it, so they MUST use their products. :-)

It would be the only facility I would waste my time on with Hack crap to actually get in....

SOME HOW, SOME WAY.

-Hack

Re:Mother of All Crackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43449019)

Good lord you are retarded.

Oh, frell off. (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447659)

Don't get me started about storing air plane passenger information and bank account information of people who never set foot in the usa of murica.

5 Zettabytes? (4, Insightful)

Phat_Tony (661117) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447791)

I'm surprised I don't see anyone here questioning this 5 zettabyte number. The biggest drives currently manufactured are 4 terabyte 3.5" drives. 5 zetabytes would require 1.25 billion of those drives. A great price on a 4TB drive right now is $190. I doubt there's enough margin in them to make this possible, but let's just say that based on the insane quantity they get them for $150 each. That's $187 billion for the drives alone, nothing for the computers and racks and air conditioning and all. The NSA's budget is estimated at 8 billion a year. $187 billion is 23 times their yearly budget. It would be about 3% of total federal spending for a year... just for the drives. Total facility costs would certainly run many times that... it would probably cost more than an entire year's military spending to build a 5 zettabyte data center.

Also, you can fit about 500 terabytes in a server cabinet. That means 10 million server cabinets. A server cabinet is about 15 cubic feet of volume. So just the cabinets alone would run 150 million cubic feet. And that's just storage, not even including computers. And it's not like you can pack them in solid, of course. If you can make a datacenter with one third of its total volume being server racks, that would be amazing. The largest building [wikipedia.org] in the world is only 472 million cubic feet, this would have to equal or surpass it.

Also, the entire world wide market for hard drives is only a little over 30 billion a year... [isuppli.com] this one project would consume over 6 times as much value in hard drives as every other use in the world combined for the year.

Unless the NSA has developed their own mass storage technology that no one else knows about and is radically superior to anything commercially available, I'm guessing someone's exaggerating or got their numbers wrong.

5 ZettaPairs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447859)

Maybe they're writing it to DNA?

Re:5 Zettabytes? (1)

colin_faber (1083673) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448321)

I question this number as well, even considering decades of tapes, we're still off by factors of 100 or more here. I think what this is called more than anything is sensationalizing, your average layperson probably has never even heard the word Zettabyte. In fact I know this, when describing what I do for a living (HPC storage engineering) to my friends and family I have to constantly explain what a Petabyte is, let along anything larger than that.

Re:5 Zettabytes? (3, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448475)

I agree with your point about how silly it is to throw around that number, but your storage density figures are a tad off... BackBlaze is hitting a density in real-world use of 180TB per 4U server, which in a 42U rack gives you 1800TB per rack with some room for switches. 5 zettabytes would therefore only require roughly 2,982,617 server cabinets. It's still ridiculously implausible, but ever so slightly less so ;)

Re:5 Zettabytes? (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448747)

You'd still need a scouting party with survival gear and a week's rations to find a drive if you had to replace it.

Re:5 Zettabytes? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448969)

In systems on such a scale, you don't replace failed drives, you design the system to tolerate a bunch of failures per system and then when a given system drops below a certain threshold where it's not being all that useful anymore, you pull the whole box. In this case, you could probably get away with a bunch of guys on segways or something, and make it a day trip.

Re:5 Zettabytes? (3, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448961)

There are probably all kind of factors behind the 5ZB number.

For example - it is probably uncompressed. It also probably includes tape robots. It also would never be bought all up front - they would have a strategy for buying new hardware as the amount of data they've collected grows. So maybe 5ZB after 10 years of operation - and just look at how fast storage density increases, it's faster than Moore's Law. [wikipedia.org]

Re:5 Zettabytes? (1)

Cherubim1 (2501030) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449279)

Do you honestly think the NSA is using consumer grade hard drives ? They more than likely have access to storage technology that is beyond anything that is available to the public. As for NSA surveillance - big deal. The NSA went inward a long time ago so their is no point in worrying about their ability to eavesdrop on everyone.

Re:5 Zettabytes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43449335)

"The NSA's budget is estimated at 8 billion a year."

This is the budget that is above ground for every one to see. The black box budget could be 100x this amount.

Thats a lot of PRON (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447933)

I think they need 50 Zettabytes instead of 5 zettabytes.... all that PRON going to fill up in less than 3 months.

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