Have the news reports of the excesses of power that our government has been engaging in bothered you?
Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion. The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency.
“The spy center” — that’s what some of the locals like Jasmine Widmer, who works at Bluffdale’s sandwich shop, told our Fox News team as part of an eight month investigation into data collection and privacy rights that will be broadcast Sunday at 9 p.m. ET called “Fox News Reporting: Your Secrets Out.”
The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5’s– that stretches past the moon.
One man we hoped would answer our questions, the current director of the NSA General Keith Alexander, declined Fox News’s requests to sit down for an interview, so we stopped by the offices of a Washington think tank, where Alexander was speaking at a cyber security event last year.
Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander said, “No…we don’t hold data on U.S. citizens,” adding that the NSA staff “take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.”
I don’t for a minute believe that anyone in our government is overtly concerned about our “civil liberties and privacy”, and I believe that they can excuse gathering information on us based on a simple equation… if we’ve done nothing wrong then we have nothing to worry about.
Then again, there are enough laws written where we can all be found guilty of breaking one, or several laws, on any given day, so they can always excuse surveillance on anyone on any given day.
One last thing…
The FOX News article closes on a chilling note:
Because the Utah Data Center is a “secure facility” and you cannot go inside without the needed security clearances, Fox News rented a helicopter and took to the skies, where the depth and breadth of the Utah Center were stunning.
The aerial video footage is exclusive to the Fox News investigation and posted here. Two weeks after our filming, the helicopter pilot reported to our Fox News team that he had been visited by the FBI on a “national security matter.”
The pilot said, according to the FBI agents, that the NSA had taken photos of the helicopter once it made several flyovers. These photos allowed the NSA to identify the make and manufacturer of the helicopter in California who, in turn, told the NSA who operates it in the Salt Lake City area.
The FBI wanted to know if we had the proper air space clearances to flyover the site, which the Fox News team did. Satisfied that the pilot was not flying “terrorists” over the site, the questioning concluded. While the pilot passed along the Fox News contact information, there was no further inquiries.
Binney said the helicopter incident “showed the capability of the U.S. government to use information to trace people, their relationship to others and to raise suspicions about their activities and intentions.”
They will soon be able to record the fact that you read this.
Come to think of it, they probably know I’m writing it.