The NSA’s big new computer center in Utah

March 23, 2012 | By | Reply More

At Democracy Now, Amy Goodman spoke with Wired’s James Bamford about the NSA’s big new computer surveillance center in Utah.

First of all, how big is it?

Well, it’s going to be a million square feet. That’s gigantic. There’s only one data center in the country that’s larger, and it’s only slightly larger than that. And it’s going to cost $2 billion. It’s being built in this area on a military base outside of Salt Lake City in Bluffdale. As I said, they had to actually extend the boundary of the town so it would fit into it.

Next, what is the NSA up to?

So, what I would like to do—I quote from a number of people in the article that are whistleblowers. They worked at NSA. They worked there many years. One of my key whistleblowers was the senior technical person on the largest eavesdropping operation in NSA. He was a very senior NSA official. He was in charge of basically automating the entire world eavesdropping network for NSA. So—and one of the other people is a intercept operator that was actually listening to these calls, listening to journalists calling from overseas and talking to their wives and having intimate conversations. And she tells about how these people were having these conversations, and she felt very guilty listening to them. These people came forward and said, you know, this shouldn’t be happening. Bill Binney, the senior official I interviewed, had been with NSA for 40 years almost, and he left, saying that what they’re doing is unconstitutional.

What I’d like to see is, why don’t we have a panel, for the first time in history, of some of these people and have them before Congress, sitting there telling their story to Congress, instead of to me, and then have NSA respond to them? I mean, this is the American public who we’re talking about whose phone calls we’re talking about, so—and email and data searches and all that. So I think it’s about time that the Congress get involved, instead of asking questions from a newspaper or from a magazine article, and start actually questioning these people on the record in terms of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it and to whom they’re doing it—you know, to whom they’re doing it.

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Category: Secrecy, Spying

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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