2009-07-01 NSA to Build $1.6 Billion Storage Facility to House Personal Surveillance Data, Utah
March 2012 update – – see http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=4829
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NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (NSA)
SECOND OF TWO REPORTS ON THE DATA CENTRE
The National Security Agency is planning to build a $1.6 billion storage facility in Utah to warehouse personal data. (UPDATE: it got bigger). The giant facility will contain more than 1 million square feet of data center space. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2010 and be completed by March 2013. The new facility is estimated to require as much electricity as all of Salt Lake City. All forms of electronic data will be stored at the center, such as intercepted phone calls, e-mail messages, Internet searches and other communications intercepted by the agency.
The effort was publicly disclosed in early 2008 and is designed to bolster cybersecurity-related awareness and incident response across the federal government. Much of the effort remains highly classified. It is partly an effort by federal agencies to reduce their exposure to Internet-based threats by reducing and consolidating the number of external Internet connections across government. Instead of having each agency manage its own Internet connections, the plan involves having a small group of Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) providers administer centralized connectivity and gateway-monitoring services for federal agencies. Critics of the project argue that the collection and permanant storage of such personal data is not necessary for national security purposes and intrudes upon the privacy rights of citizens.
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FIRST OF TWO REPORTS ON THE DATA CENTRE
NSA Plans $1.6 Billion Utah Data Center
July 1st, 2009 : Rich Miller The National Security Agency is planning to build a massive data center at Fort Williams in Utah, which could eventually include more than 1 million square feet of data center space, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
The first phase of the project will feature an $800 million investment in a 35-megawatt data center, with a second $800 million, 35-megawatt phase to follow. The initial phase is currently in the design stage, with construction scheduled to begin in June 2010 and be completed by March 2013, according to documents (link via Mark Fontecchio). Project specs call for a Tier III raised-floor facility.
The Utah project was enabled by a new funding bill signed last week by President Obama, which also provides money for an expansion of the power infrastructure at Fort Meade, Maryland where the NSA’s primary data center is located. The NSA’s operations at Fort Meade have reportedly been power-strapped since 2006, when the agency maxed out the electric capacity of the Baltimore Gas & Electric power grid.
The NSA facility will be the third huge data center to be built in Utah, which has prevailed in several of the most competitive data center projects in the Western U.S. In May 2008 Oracle Corp. (ORCL) said it would build a $285 million data center in West Jordan. In December West Jordan was also selected as the site for a $334 million eBay data center.
Between them, the three projects represent more than $2.2 billion in data center investment in the state of Utah.