US agency would need a facility the size of Europe to store physical copies of information it will hold
July 5, 2013
A stunning info-graphic put together by a German data company reveals just how expansive the NSA’s data retention program has become.
In the wake of the Snowden revelations, eyes have been trained on the NSA and its almost completed new facility in the Utah desert.
the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program has grown in gargantuan proportions and now intercepts 1.7 billion US electronic communications every single day. Those communications will soon all be funneled through the top secret $2 billion spy center, which the NSA has refused to provide Congress with details of.
Comparing the NSA to the East German Stasi, experts at Open Data City in Berlin, decided to visualize the scope of both spy agencies, to make a point of how much further advanced the NSA is.
The shaded area on the left shows how much physical space the Stasi encompassed in Berlin, then compares the space the NSA would need if it had physical copies of all the information it is capable of storing.
While the Stasi kept all it’s files in physical form, as revealed by NSA whistleblower William Binney, the NSA data center in Utah will be capable of storing 5 zettabytes of digital information (5 billion terabytes).
“They would have plenty of space with five zettabytes to store at least something on the order of 100 years worth of the worldwide communications, phones and emails and stuff like that,” Binney asserts, “and then have plenty of space left over to do any kind of parallel processing to try to break codes.”
Cisco quantifies a zettabyte as the amount of data that would fill 250 billion DVDs.
Open Data City notes that a filing cabinet requires 0.4 m square, and can hold about 60 folders containing roughly 30,000 pages of paper, which equates to somewhere in the region of 120 MB of data.
Given these facts, the Utah data center, if it were to store printed copies of all the information it can hold, would consume about 17 million square kilometers of space. The shaded area in the image below shows you how much space that is. It pretty much covers the entire continent of Europe.
In comparison, the Stasi Records Authority spanned a mere 200 kilometers at its facility in Berlin. Consequently, the NSA can hold nearly 1 billion times more data than the Stasi could.
Of course, there is no need to worry, for the NSA vows that it only targets terrorists and extremists, just liked the Stasi did.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.