Even Congress Wants To Know What The NSA Is Doing With This $2 Billion Utah Spy Center
Maybe you’ve heard of it and maybe you haven’t, but in Bluffdale, Utah alongside one of the largest polygamist sects in America, the NSA is building a one-million-square-foot data collection center — five times the size of the U.S. capital.
Despite immense secrecy, and construction workers with Top Secret clearances, news of the project made it to the pages of Wired last month. Intelligence authority James Bamford wrote that the center is part of President Bush’s “total information awareness” program that was killed by Congress in 2003 in response to public outrage over its potential for invading Americans privacy.
One senior intelligence official formerly involved with the project told Bamford “this is more than just a data center,” that it’s a code breaking megalopolis the likes of which the world has never seen.
Several years ago the NSA made a major leap in breaking complex encryptions used in everything from “financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications.”
The official concluded by saying “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
The story caused such a stir that the NSA’s chief General Keith Alexander was called before Congress last week to testify about the project and categorically denied the facility will be used to spy on American citizens.
“The NSA does not have the ability to do that in the United States,” Alexander told Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson. “We’re not authorized to do that, nor do we have the equipment in the United States to collect that kind of information.”