Now this one was shared by many of you, and it's worth passing on. A German company has done a comparative study of the NSA's new spying facility being built in Utah, you know, the one it won't talk about to Congress, and the old East German Stasi, which kept records on...well, pretty much everyone and everything. It is interesting, though not surprising, that the study should come from Germany. One can imagine they'd more than a little fed up with having to deal with Stasis, Gestapos, Sicherheitdiensten and so on:
Let's run those numbers by one more time, before we delve into our usual high octane speculation:
"While the Stasi kept all it’s files in physical form, as revealed by NSA whistleblower William Binney, the NSA data center in Utah will be capable of storing 5 zettabytes of digital information (5 billion terabytes).
“'They would have plenty of space with five zettabytes to store at least something on the order of 100 years worth of the worldwide communications, phones and emails and stuff like that,' Binney asserts, 'and then have plenty of space left over to do any kind of parallel processing to try to break codes.'
"Cisco quantifies a zettabyte as the amount of data that would fill 250 billion DVDs.
"Open Data City notes that a filing cabinet requires 0.4 m square, and can hold about 60 folders containing roughly 30,000 pages of paper, which equates to somewhere in the region of 120 MB of data.
"Given these facts, the Utah data center, if it were to store printed copies of all the information it can hold, would consume about 17 million square kilometers of space. The shaded area in the image below shows you how much space that is. It pretty much covers the entire continent of Europe."
Five zettabytes, with a zettabyte equaling one billion terrabytes? Filling one and a quarter trillion DVDs? (Hint: buy Sony and Memorex stock now).
Ok, I'll admit, I question the need for that amount of data collection just to keep tabs on - how many terrorists did they say they're watching? Oh yea, they haven't, but I'll wager that those terrorists in several lifetimes wouldn't generate this amount of communications.
But I digress: the first thing that bothers me about all this is the Utah center itself. Now, I don't know about you, but I just don't think the DARPAcrats at the NSA are so stupid as to put all their zettabytes into one basket, so to speak. Much less the networked supercomputers to crunch them. In short, I tend to view the whole center as a bit of Potemkin Village Theater: a thing for show and tell. I strongly suspect the real data storage and crunching facilities are dispersed and deep underground. After all, this facility is a great big huge squating target. The real show is elsewhere. They already know this in Beijing, Berlin, and Moscow. Only the US Congress seems incapable of anything like thought.
Which raises the question of why build this Potemkin Village in Utah? Why not Idaho or Montana? Well, I can think of a thousand reasons why, all deeply buried in the phenomenon alternative researcher Peter Levenda calls "American political witchcraft," and with that uniquely American bit of political witchcraft called Mormonism, with its own unique obsessions about data collecting (though of a very different sort). I can think of all sorts of transhumanist reasons of political witchcraft too: one will need zettabytes and zettabytes of data processing and storage capability to follow all the wonderfully chipped transhumanist cyborgs around.
So, what's all this Potemkin Village Theater for? Well, for that, we'll have to wait until tomorrow's high octane speculation.
See you on the flip side.