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Utah Lawmaker Targets NSA Data Center by Shutting Off Water

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NSA Utah Data Center

Credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation (Public Domain)

by Steve Eastman, Wait Til You Hear This

A lot of people are upset with the NSA’s Data Center in Utah.  There’s no better embodiment of the Administration’s unwarranted spying on US citizens than the one and a half billion dollar facility near Bluffdale.  According to Wired Magazine, it can process “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Internet searches, as well as all types of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter’.”  Even the Wall Street Journal has called it a “symbol of the spy agency’s surveillance prowess.”

But Representative Mark Roberts believes the state can take on the feds.  So he’s targeting the Data Center on its Achilles Heel.

Any facility with one million gigabytes of storage capacity and a corresponding amount of computing power needs to be cooled down.  That takes something like 1.7 million gallons of water a day.  And Mark Roberts hopes to turn off the spigot.

Specifically, Utah State House Bill 150 “prohibits cooperation between a federal agency that collects data and any political subdivision of the state.”  That applies to state contractors as well.  The penalty for any violator is the loss of state funding.  Any citizen may bring action to enforce the refusal.

In case this story sounds somewhat familiar, Representative Roberts originally introduced the bill last year.  It went to an interim study committee which found significant support.  Roberts has tweaked the language a little and introduced the measure in the new legislative session.

If passed by the Utah House and Senate, the measure would go not into effect immediately.  The plan is to allow Bluffdale to pay off a $3 million bond first.

© 2015 Wait Til You Hear This

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