Monday, 19 October 2009


Who's in Big Brother's Database?

On a remote edge of Utah's dry and arid high desert, where temperatures often zoom past 100 degrees, hard-hated construction workers with top-secret clearances are preparing to build what may become America's equivalent of Jorge Luis Borges's "Library of Babel," a place where the collection of information is both infinite and at the same time monstrous, where the entire world's knowledge is stored, but not a single word is understood.
At a million square feet, the mammoth $2 billion structure will be one-third larger than the US Capitol and will use the same amount of energy as every house in London combined.

Unlike Borges's "labyrinth of letters," this library expects few visitors. It's being built by the ultra-secret National Security Agency—which is primarily responsible for "signals intelligence," the collection and analysis of various forms of communication—to house trillions of phone calls, e-mail messages, and data trails:
Web searches, parking receipts, bookstore visits, and other digital "pocket litter." Lacking adequate space and power at its city-sized London sized headquarters, the NSA is also completing work on another data archive, this one in San Antonio, Texas, which will be nearly the size of the Alamodome.

And so, 2 things?

1. Be careful what you say over the net/com.
Because:

2. A spy centre that requires the energy input of a city, well that means Yottabytes (1024 Bytes) by 2015. Roughly equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of voice, text and numbers. And that every call, every day, for the foreseeable future.
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