Did the NSA Already Open Their Utah Data Center?

30 Sep 2013 by Datacenters.com Technology

"Apparently the policy of secrecy that surrounds the National Security Agency’s Utah Data Center extends to whether it’s even open.

The 100,000-square-foot facility, located at Camp Williams, just outside of Bluffdale, was originally scheduled to be opened in October. Certainly, no one expected public fanfare at the opening of a facility run by an agency that has recently been the subject of controversy for its data collection and surveillance practices. Taking their furtive attitude further, the NSA won’t directly address whether its $1.2 billion facility is up and running, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.

The classified facility is the organization’s largest at 1 million square feet, but only a tenth of that area is actually used as data center space. The facility expected to employ about 200 people, the majority of which will be data center technicians, and its robust security systems include protection by the NSA’s special law enforcement team. It will serve as an important cog in the NSA’s intelligence efforts as one of six major data hubs. Duties include providing backup storage for all of the NSA’s gathered intelligence, as well as providing network connections to other security analysts for real-time use. In a recent interview, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines was deliberately evasive about the facility’s opening plans.

“We turn each machine on as it is installed, and the facility is ready for that installation to begin,” Vines said, according to the news source. Other efforts made by Tribune reporters and others to contact agency officials were unsuccessful.

Controversy over the NSA’s methods reached a firestorm in the aftermath of information leaked by Edward Snowden that disclosed classified data relating to a massive surveillance undertaken by American and British agencies, including the CSA. Both government and public opinion has since been split on whether Snowden was justified in releasing the documents, but the incident did give rise to more public discourse about government data centers and the information they collect."


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