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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Scary stuff

Soon, they will know everyhing about us:

“In the small town of Bluffdale, Utah, not far from bustling Salt Lake City, the federal government is quietly erecting what will be the crown jewel of its surveillance empire. Rising up out of the desert landscape, the Utah Data Center (UDC) – a $2 billion behemoth designed to house a network of computers, satellites and phone lines that stretches across the world – is intended to serve as (hold your breath) the central hub of the National Security Agency’s vast spying infrastructure.

“Once complete (the UDC is expected to be fully operational by September 2013) the last link in the chain of the electronic concentration camp that surrounds us will be complete, and privacy, as we have known it, will be extinct” (“Everybody’s a Target in the American Surveillance State,” rutherford.org, March 26).

The NSA's assault on the Fourth Amendment was greatly accelerated with the blanket surveillance of President Bush's "war on terror." It has only gotten worse under President Obama and Eric Holder. The abuse of power is not a partisan issue.


Harl Delos
Wed, 04/04/2012 - 12:19pm

The scary thing is  Florence v Board of Freeholders.

The Utah Data Center isn't scary so much as it's wasteful.  In accordance with Moore's law, processing power doubles, while size drops bty a half every two years.  Over the course of a decade, you're talking a ten-fold difference, and over the 30 years to depreciate a building, you're talking a thousand-fold reduction in size.

If they going to do this - and I'm not in favor of that - it makes more sense to rent offices in a variety of locations and use distributed processing.  Department of Homeland Security has never been able to attract or retain good IT personnel, though, partly because of the low pay they offer, but mostly because of the hassle of working for them  Good IT people are precious, and companies go to great length to attract superstars.  Even ordinary IT journeymen get perks like free juice in the refrigerators and masseurs roaming around working the kinks out of necks.

This building is to be expected from the third-rate types DHS employs.  They have Edifice Complex.

The location, though, in Bluffdale, isn't bad.  That's 25 miles from Provo.  That where SSI, a word processing program for midrange computers, was developed, and they're doing text analysis.  SSI software aped a popular word processing machine - and under a new name, Word Perfect, SSI became the most popular word processing software for the DOS era personal computer.