The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently constructing its new Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah. Most people know that the NSA has become the largest, most covert, and most intrusive intelligence agency ever. But few know about this new data center and what kind of work they will be doing there.
Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s in the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago.
When completed, the $2 Billion Utah Data Center will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol and will secretly capture, store, and analyze vast quantities of words and images traveling through the world’s telecommunications networks.
The center is under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances. It’s a project of immense secrecy and its purpose is to intercept, decipher, analyze and store vast amounts of the world’s communications as they bounce down from satellites and rip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified center should be up and running by September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers, and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails, including parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and vast amounts of other digital information.
Knowing all this, we have to ask, “Why did the NSA picked this particular location to build its data center?” The site is located adjacent to Camp Williams, a U.S. military base. We know that the NSA likes to build on or near U.S. military bases. In fact, the NSA’s headquarters is located on the grounds of Fort Meade in Maryland.
I decided to plot the location in Gridpoint Atlas and view it in Google Earth. When I did, I found that a 7.5′ grid line goes right through the center of the site. Here is a screenshot of the site. You will notice that an airport used to exist at the same location.
The next screenshot shows the Google Earth satellite imagery with the data center site plan overlaid. The site plan shows the future buildings. At least those above ground. You can see that the 7.5′ grid line goes right through the center of the complex.
We can see that the selection of this site was not an accident.