The US National Security Agency (NSA) has access to a lot of data—almost all online communication passing through the US. But with resources that include hundreds of thousands of online accounts, where is the agency keeping all the data?
The existence of the NSA’s PRISM spying program, which was first reported by the Washington Post and the Guardian, probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, since WIRED ran a piece on the massive cloud center the NSA is building over a year ago. The official purpose of the $2 billion digital storage facility in Utah is to decrypt hard-to-crack documents. With 100,000 square feet of servers, no doubt the computing center is a processing powerhouse. But the NSA is also dedicated to storing unparalleled amounts of data in the center, which can then be accessed by analysts at NSA headquarters and in facilities around the world. Sounds like just the place for storing the entire world’s Skype calls.
The Utah facility isn’t set to open until September, so for now, most Facebook dragnet searches are probably going down in NSA’s current data centers in Georgia, Texas and Hawaii. Check the map to see which neighborly facility might be trawling for nefarious text messages.