The establishment press is just now acknowledging the idea that our government has been spying on us, even though credible witnesses and whistleblowers have offered documentation for years. Everyone is now talking about the huge secret spy NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah that is the size of five capital buildings scheduled for completion this September, as though this is something new.
I had myself photographed in front of the site last September (see at LibertyUnderFire.org).
The networks and Congress seemed shocked at the revelation, but Congress had to authorize the $2 billion facility expenditure for Bluffdale and a similar amount for a sister NSA facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Wired magazine front-paged this story a year ago last April when it wrote: “Deep in the Utah desert, the National Security Agency is building the country’s biggest spy center. It’s the final piece of a secret surveillance network that will intercept and store your phone calls, emails, Google searches… (Watch what you say).”
Noted author James Banford, one of America’s leading authorities on the National Security Agency, then wrote, “Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks…
"Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication," Banford continued, "including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter” ("The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center. Watch What You Say.")
The project is code named “Stellar Wind.”
In the scheme of things, launched in 2004 under the George W. Bush Administration, but vastly expanded under Barack Obama, the NSA Bluffdale facility will house all electronic information in the world.
That is why it is being equipped to hold a Yottabyte of information. A Yottabyte is 1,000 Zettabytes (the number 1 followed by 24 zeros --1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).
So Bluffdale is primarily a storage facility. The philosophy is that the “more data, the more telephone calls, the more email, the more encrypted data that you have — the more patterns that you’re likely to discover.”
The NSA Oak Ridge facility houses the super computer, installed in 2006, capable of finding patterns and printing them out in milliseconds in a process code named “brute force.”
The “goal was to advance computer speed a thousand fold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second, known as a petaflop — the computer equivalent of breaking the land speed record.”
With upgrades the computer, called “jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009,” is housed in Building 5300.
There “318 scientists, computer engineers, and other staff work in secret on the cryptanalytic applications of high-speed computing and other classified projects.” (Cryptome, March 16, 2012, “NSA Decryption Multipurpose Research Facility”).
NSA Whistleblower William Binney said, "Domestically, they're pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country and assembling that information, building communities that you have relationships with, and knowledge about you; what your activities are; what you're doing. So the government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it's a very dangerous process."
He estimated that one telecom alone was sending the government an "average of 320 million logs every day since 2001."
So, when the Los Angeles Times reported on June 6 that “Government is tracking all U.S. phone calls,” that “The National Security Agency has stored data on calls to and from nearly every American for 7 years in search of patterns suggesting terrorist activity,” and that officials still say that they are not eavesdropping, it is still a lie, a matter of public record, and thus old news.
It is great to see the establishment press catch up. Now who authorized these millions of unconstitutional warrantless wire tapes on you and your friends and who signed off on funding the billions of dollars for these facilities?
Will the Congress catch-up too, investigating what should have been looked into years ago?
Not unless you push them.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution and has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, see www.LibertyUnderFire.org.