Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm

NPR | June 10, 2013

By Howard Berkes

As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency’s massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet.

The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. High-performance NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.

The Utah Data Center is a data farm that will begin harvesting emails, phone records, text messages and other electronic data in September.

“NSA’s focus is on foreign intelligence and foreign intelligence that rides over the networks is what we’re talking about,” says Harvey Davis, the agency’s director for installations and logistics.

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