Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Big Brother is a reality

The NSA (National Security Agency) in the United States are currently building a massive data centre in Utah.... it's going under the bland name of "The Utah Datacentre"  it will be opened  and ready for business in 2013

Here's a few facts about the place.

  • it's going to need 65 Megawatts to run it
  • It has the capability to run for 3 days without power on it's own generators
  • it also has 60,000 tons of cooling equipment to keep the servers cool
  • Four 25,000-square-foot facilities house rows and rows of servers.
  • Water storage and pumping able to pump 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day
  • Video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other protection will cost more than $10 million.

Just to give you an idea 25,000 square foot of floor space is a building 2322 Sq/metres and there will be four of these huge buildings just for the storage of racks and racks of servers, overall the entire data centre will occupy one million square feet OR that is 22 football pitches (English pitches).

I quote from Wired  

"Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate"

It will be able to store a Yottabyte of data . To put that in context a Yottabyte is equal to one septillion (one long scale quadrillion or 1024) bytes (one quadrillion gigabytes). and if that number is too big to get your head around according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) basically a massive amount of data.

So it's no mere coincidence that "The Utah Datacentre" will have the ability to store a Yottabyte it will need that as a buffer to catch everything then sift the interesting stuff.....

It's a massive task and the NSA not happy with tapping into where the big fat fibre optic pipes hit their shorelines from "the rest of the world"  and listening in to all the many satellites that provided data and voice circuits over America.... No that would only give them international traffic coming into the United States....They went one step further and have tapped into the switches that sit in every city giving them access to ALL internal homeland communications. They have even hinted that they are able to break strong encryption.....the program goes under the name of Stellar Wind

I suppose the only way you could prove that is if you sent a PGP encrypted email to an American friend stating that you were going to bomb such and such a place on such and such a day, then turn up at the airport in the United States and see if you're arrested.... However that acid test might not be understood by the US courts system and you "could" spend a lot of time in jail, So I don't recommend it...... but at least you'd know if they could break PGP ..... In fact it wouldn't surprise me if this blog has been flagged for inspection considering I've uttered the words America and bomb on the same domain/blog....

The level of paranoia in America is almost tangible, whilst I admire good security and countermeasures to keep the baddies at bay, tapping into the entire internet and listening in to whatever they like is taking things a bit far in my book.

The story was broken a few years ago but now this "well known" secret program has been sort of "legalised" and they can openly tap every single person who uses a phone / computer. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network Mr Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.

Still think you're having a private conversation ?

Paranoia gone mad.........

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