NSA to Begin Monitoring All Digital Activity
The small town of Bluffdale, Utah, is home to the largest polygamy community in the United States. Polygamists traveled to the area over 160 years ago, and settled in the center of a bowl of small peaks and hills. There is a chapel, a school, and just about everything else you would expect to find in your typical small town. However, just barely a mile outside of this itsy-bitsy town, there is a massive construction project underway. What could be going on in the middle of the desert, you ask? The National Security Agency can tell you, but they would likely choose not to as soon as you asked.
When completed, this complex will have a full complement of armed guards, security experts, technical surveillance technicians, and computer geniuses. These workers have all been amassed to begin monitoring all of the various communications going through the telecommunications networks all throughout the world. It sure looks like Big Brother will be living right next door for the small Utah town very soon.
The Utah Data Center is currently under construction by private contractors with top secret clearance by the National Security Agency. The center looks to be the final stage in an Agency-wide revamp of the NSA and its functions. This center will look to monitor all of the communications and transactions both locally in the United States and overseas in other countries. It is expected to be up and running by September 2013, and is costing a whopping $2 billion to construct. This data center will look to monitor every single form of communication in the world, including phone calls, emails, and many internet transactions through social networks. It will also look into several other pieces of information, such as the digital reports of traffic violations, digital receipts, and so much more. This type of monitoring was first looked into during President George w. Bush’s first term, but was terminated in 2003 by Congress after much public outcry.
“This is more than just a data center,” says an unnamed intelligence officer who was working on the project. The mammoth Bluffdale center will also be used for breaking various encryption codes. The noted the importance of breaking codes, since nearly of the files that will be stored there, including bank statements, legal documents, and financial information, will all have heavy encryption. Another top official said that the NSA has progressed by leaps and bounds in code cracking, claiming that they are now able to access the most complex of codes sued by various world governments. According to this official, “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
The NSA has received tens of billions of dollars in donations and grants over the last ten years after the events of September, 11. The NSA received much criticism after their initial implementation for failing to prevent many notable attacks, such as the first World Trade Center bombing in 1991, then September, 11. After all of these events, the NSA has been reformatting itself to become the most efficient intelligence agency, with several hundred members and highly advanced technology. And now, they are proving to be one of the most invasive and potentially dangerous agencies in the world.