NSA to Modernize With Cloud and Crypto Centers

May 31, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via PC World

If knowledge is power, then no one is more powerful than the National Security Agency. A motto for the shadowy eyes and ears responsible for America’s national defense is “technology never sleeps.” It takes a 24/7/365 global workforce to support the NSA’s mission. When thought of that way, it’s easier to understand how the NSA slurps up as much data every six hours as is stored in the entire Library of Congress. Imagine collecting about 74 terabytes of raw data every six hours, or enough data to fill four Library of Congress centers every 24 hours!

How could the super secret spook agency stockpile that much surveillance every day? Think along the lines of 75,000 men and women eavesdropping on the world by way of 12 satellites circling the globe, 50 aircraft modified to electronically eavesdrop, and every U.S. attack submarine having NSA intercept personnel onboard to make the most of electronic surveillance. According to author and historian Matthew Aid, “The USS Jimmy Carter submarine works exclusively for NSA tapping cables under the water.” In an interview with 60 Minutes, Aid explained more about how the NSA electronically collects intelligence.

NSA’s chief information officer (CIO) Lonny Anderson talked with Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller about the NSA’s mission, the three new state-of-the-art NSA cryptological centers in Hawaii, Georgia and Texas, as well as how efficiencies in IT with the cloud will help modernize the secretive intelligence agency.

NSA’s massive 65 megawatt data center is on 240-acres at the National Guard facility in Camp Williams, Utah. The self sustaining complex will have 1 million square feet of enclosed space with 100,000 square feet of working computer space. It will have its own “water and wastewater treatment plants, power, gas supply, battery backup, visitor-control facilities, vehicle inspection station and perimeter security.” It is supposed to be capable of storing staggering amounts of surveillance data, yottabytes of data . In case your mind does not automatically compute just how mega huge that is, CrunchGear described it as, “There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte, a thousand terabytes in a petabyte, a thousand petabytes in an exabyte, a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte, and a thousand zettabytes in a yottabyte. In other words, a yottabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000GB. Are you paranoid yet?”

Continued here.