Controversy Surrounds NSA's $2 Billion Data Center
| Topic : Email Security
For several years now, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a major new data center in Utah. Technically called the First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center, the facility is intended to improve the NSA's information governance capabilities, assisting in the interception, storage, deciphering and analysis of huge amounts of information culled from around the world.
However, a new report from Wired has raised fears that the data center will be used not solely to improve America's cybersecurity, but also to spy on American citizens.
Based on interviews with a man it claims is a high level intelligence officer who was until recently affiliated with the project, Wired says that the NSA "has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens." This, according to Wired, includes the collection of billions of email messages, phone call records and a huge amount of more personal data belonging to American citizens. The Utah data center will be used to compile and examine this information.
These revelations have led to wide-ranging worries that the NSA is now actively spying on Americans with no history of or connection to terrorism. The NSA, however, has denied these allegations. When questioned by the House of Representative's Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, NSA director general Keith Alexander repeatedly claimed the NSA is uninterested in domestic spying, and in fact lacks the capacity to do so, due to a lack of technical insights into American telecommunication infrastructure and a corresponding lack of necessary equipment established in the country.
Despite these denials, many remain concerned over the privacy protection implications of the data center.