“We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State" - Big Brother Goes Live September 2013

Tyler Durden's picture

George Orwell was right. He was just 30 years early.

In its April cover story, Wired has an exclusive report on the NSA's Utah Data Center, which is a must read for anyone who believes any privacy is still a possibility in the United States: "A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.... 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—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”... The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013." In other words, in just over 1 year, virtually anything one communicates through any traceable medium, or any record of one's existence in the electronic medium, which these days is everything, will unofficially be property of the US government to deal with as it sees fit.

The codename of the project: Stellar Wind.

As Wired says, "there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created."

And as former NSA operative William Binney who was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician, and is the basis for the Wired article (which we guess makes him merely the latest whistleblower to step up: is America suddenly experiencing an ethical revulsion?), and quit his job only after he realized that the NSA is now openly trampling the constitution, says as he holds his thumb and forefinger close together. "We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state."

There was a time when Americans still cared about matters such as personal privacy. Luckily, they now have iGadgets to keep them distracted as they hand over their last pieces of individuality to the Tzar of conformity. And there are those who wonder just what the purpose of the NDAA is.

In the meantime please continue to pretend that America is a democracy...

Here are some of the highlights from the Wired article:

The Utah Data Center in a nutshell, and the summary of the current status of the NSA's eavesdropping on US citizens.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in 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—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.


But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”


In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.


...Shrouded in secrecy:

A short time later, Inglis arrived in Bluffdale at the site of the future data center, a flat, unpaved runway on a little-used part of Camp Williams, a National Guard training site. There, in a white tent set up for the occasion, Inglis joined Harvey Davis, the agency’s associate director for installations and logistics, and Utah senator Orrin Hatch, along with a few generals and politicians in a surreal ceremony. Standing in an odd wooden sandbox and holding gold-painted shovels, they made awkward jabs at the sand and thus officially broke ground on what the local media had simply dubbed “the spy center.” Hoping for some details on what was about to be built, reporters turned to one of the invited guests, Lane Beattie of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Did he have any idea of the purpose behind the new facility in his backyard? “Absolutely not,” he said with a self-conscious half laugh. “Nor do I want them spying on me.”


Within days, the tent and sandbox and gold shovels would be gone and Inglis and the generals would be replaced by some 10,000 construction workers. “We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project, told a local reporter. The plans for the center show an extensive security system: an elaborate $10 million antiterrorism protection program, including a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.


Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate.

Presenting the Yottabyte, aka 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text:

Given the facility’s scale and the fact that a terabyte of data can now be stored on a flash drive the size of a man’s pinky, the potential amount of information that could be housed in Bluffdale is truly staggering. But so is the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. As a result of this “expanding array of theater airborne and other sensor networks,” as a 2007 Department of Defense report puts it, the Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)


It needs that capacity because, according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) In terms of scale, Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, once estimated that the total of all human knowledge created from the dawn of man to 2003 totaled 5 exabytes. And the data flow shows no sign of slowing. In 2011 more than 2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people were connected to the Internet. By 2015, market research firm IDC estimates, there will be 2.7 billion users. Thus, the NSA’s need for a 1-million-square-foot data storehouse. Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.

Summarizing the NSA's entire spy network:


Before yottabytes of data from the deep web and elsewhere can begin piling up inside the servers of the NSA’s new center, they must be collected. To better accomplish that, the agency has undergone the largest building boom in its history, including installing secret electronic monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities. Controlled by the NSA, these highly secured spaces are where the agency taps into the US communications networks, a practice that came to light during the Bush years but was never acknowledged by the agency. The broad outlines of the so-called warrantless-wiretapping program have long been exposed—how the NSA secretly and illegally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was supposed to oversee and authorize highly targeted domestic eavesdropping; how the program allowed wholesale monitoring of millions of American phone calls and email. In the wake of the program’s exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. What wasn’t revealed until now, however, was the enormity of this ongoing domestic spying program.

Luckily, we now know, courtesy of yet another whistleblower, who has exposed the NSA's mindblowing efforts at pervasive Big Brotherness:

For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network. A tall man with strands of black hair across the front of his scalp and dark, determined eyes behind thick-rimmed glasses, the 68-year-old spent nearly four decades breaking codes and finding new ways to channel billions of private phone calls and email messages from around the world into the NSA’s bulging databases. As chief and one of the two cofounders of the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, Binney and his team designed much of the infrastructure that’s still likely used to intercept international and foreign communications.


He explains that the agency could have installed its tapping gear at the nation’s cable landing stations—the more than two dozen sites on the periphery of the US where fiber-optic cables come ashore. If it had taken that route, the NSA would have been able to limit its eavesdropping to just international communications, which at the time was all that was allowed under US law. Instead it chose to put the wiretapping rooms at key junction points throughout the country—large, windowless buildings known as switches—thus gaining access to not just international communications but also to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the US. The network of intercept stations goes far beyond the single room in an AT&T building in San Francisco exposed by a whistle-blower in 2006. “I think there’s 10 to 20 of them,” Binney says. “That’s not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.”


The eavesdropping on Americans doesn’t stop at the telecom switches. To capture satellite communications in and out of the US, the agency also monitors AT&T’s powerful earth stations, satellite receivers in locations that include Roaring Creek and Salt Creek. Tucked away on a back road in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania, Roaring Creek’s three 105-foot dishes handle much of the country’s communications to and from Europe and the Middle East. And on an isolated stretch of land in remote Arbuckle, California, three similar dishes at the company’s Salt Creek station service the Pacific Rim and Asia.

In other words, the NSA has absolutely everyone covered.

We now know all of this, courtesy of yet another person finally stepping up and exposing the truth:

Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.


The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

Everyone is a target.

The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.


After he left the NSA, Binney suggested a system for monitoring people’s communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you’re just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything. “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” he says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.” And the agency is gathering as much as it can.


Once the communications are intercepted and stored, the data-mining begins. “You can watch everybody all the time with data- mining,” Binney says. Everything a person does becomes charted on a graph, “financial transactions or travel or anything,” he says. Thus, as data like bookstore receipts, bank statements, and commuter toll records flow in, the NSA is able to paint a more and more detailed picture of someone’s life.

Can you hear me now? The NSA sure can:

According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.


Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)

In fact, as you talk now, the NSA's computers are listening, recording it all, and looking for keywords.

The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks “basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. “It’s almost like going through and finding somebody’s diary,” she says.

There is a simple matter of encryption... Which won't be an issue for the NSA shortly, once the High Productivity Computing Systems project goes online.

Anyone—from terrorists and weapons dealers to corporations, financial institutions, and ordinary email senders—can use it to seal their messages, plans, photos, and documents in hardened data shells. For years, one of the hardest shells has been the Advanced Encryption Standard, one of several algorithms used by much of the world to encrypt data. Available in three different strengths—128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits—it’s incorporated in most commercial email programs and web browsers and is considered so strong that the NSA has even approved its use for top-secret US government communications. Most experts say that a so-called brute-force computer attack on the algorithm—trying one combination after another to unlock the encryption—would likely take longer than the age of the universe. For a 128-bit cipher, the number of trial-and-error attempts would be 340 undecillion (1036).


Breaking into those complex mathematical shells like the AES is one of the key reasons for the construction going on in Bluffdale. That kind of cryptanalysis requires two major ingredients: super-fast computers to conduct brute-force attacks on encrypted messages and a massive number of those messages for the computers to analyze. The more messages from a given target, the more likely it is for the computers to detect telltale patterns, and Bluffdale will be able to hold a great many messages. “We questioned it one time,” says another source, a senior intelligence manager who was also involved with the planning. “Why were we building this NSA facility? And, boy, they rolled out all the old guys—the crypto guys.” According to the official, these experts told then-director of national intelligence Dennis Blair, “You’ve got to build this thing because we just don’t have the capability of doing the code-breaking.” It was a candid admission. In the long war between the code breakers and the code makers—the tens of thousands of cryptographers in the worldwide computer security industry—the code breakers were admitting defeat.


So the agency had one major ingredient—a massive data storage facility—under way. Meanwhile, across the country in Tennessee, the government was working in utmost secrecy on the other vital element: the most powerful computer the world has ever known.


The plan was launched in 2004 as a modern-day Manhattan Project. Dubbed the High Productivity Computing Systems program, its goal was to advance computer speed a thousandfold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second, known as a petaflop—the computer equivalent of breaking the land speed record. And as with the Manhattan Project, the venue chosen for the supercomputing program was the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee, a rural area where sharp ridges give way to low, scattered hills, and the southwestward-flowing Clinch River bends sharply to the southeast. About 25 miles from Knoxville, it is the “secret city” where uranium- 235 was extracted for the first atomic bomb. A sign near the exit read: what you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Today, not far from where that sign stood, Oak Ridge is home to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and it’s engaged in a new secret war. But this time, instead of a bomb of almost unimaginable power, the weapon is a computer of almost unimaginable speed.


At the DOE’s unclassified center at Oak Ridge, work progressed at a furious pace, although it was a one-way street when it came to cooperation with the closemouthed people in Building 5300. Nevertheless, the unclassified team had its Cray XT4 supercomputer upgraded to a warehouse-sized XT5. Named Jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009.


Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.


The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

So kiss PGP goodbye. In fact kiss every aspect of your privacy goodbye.

Yottabytes and exaflops, septillions and undecillions—the race for computing speed and data storage goes on. In his 1941 story “The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges imagined a collection of information where the entire world’s knowledge is stored but barely a single word is understood. In Bluffdale the NSA is constructing a library on a scale that even Borges might not have contemplated. And to hear the masters of the agency tell it, it’s only a matter of time until every word is illuminated.

As for the Constitution... What Constitution?

Before he gave up and left the NSA, Binney tried to persuade officials to create a more targeted system that could be authorized by a court. At the time, the agency had 72 hours to obtain a legal warrant, and Binney devised a method to computerize the system. “I had proposed that we automate the process of requesting a warrant and automate approval so we could manage a couple of million intercepts a day, rather than subvert the whole process.” But such a system would have required close coordination with the courts, and NSA officials weren’t interested in that, Binney says. Instead they continued to haul in data on a grand scale. Asked how many communications—”transactions,” in NSA’s lingo—the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at “between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years.”


When Barack Obama took office, Binney hoped the new administration might be open to reforming the program to address his constitutional concerns. He and another former senior NSA analyst, J. Kirk Wiebe, tried to bring the idea of an automated warrant-approval system to the attention of the Department of Justice’s inspector general. They were given the brush-off. “They said, oh, OK, we can’t comment,” Binney says.

In conclusion, the NSA's own whistleblower summarizes it best.

Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.

... And nobody cares.

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tallen's picture

Who needs liberties when the economy is this great? It's never sounded so good. /s


Silver Bug's picture

Its sad how similar today is becoming like 1984.



lineskis's picture

Looks like Anonymous' next data dumps will be substantial... ^^

Shocker's picture

Crazy to see what we have actually come too.



Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I think Tolkien called this the All-Seeing Eye of Mordor.

francis_sawyer's picture

"Stellar Wind"?...

I think Monty Python called this "I fart in your general direction"...


markmotive's picture

We're close to the end of stage 2 of a 4 stage devolution of global economics.

Stage 3 will be Japan.



AetosAeros's picture


I think perspective of what all this entails should help with understanding the true ramifications of this project.

 To wit-

  •   Advances in technology have allowed for ‘truth’ monitors which can understand pitch, volume, enunciation, tempo, and stressed vocal patterns to determine or help determine the validity of any person’s speech. Regardless of language
  • The same can also be said for written text, using algorithmic evaluations and logical structure patterns.
  • Pschological advances, both applied and theoretical, have been able to greatly determine the individualistic mindset and decision making process. When applied over a long term data flow, it is easier to predict direction.
  • Sociological advances have created the ability to not only accurately monitor ‘group think’ but also to steer the general consensus towards a certain outcome or position. Look at a MSW and never again wonder why they get paid more to work for an advertising company or political campaign- understanding how to influence the masses is of greater need to those elements than it is in education or social advancement.

 Realistically, this development is for one purpose and one purpose only- removal of the element of surprise. By knowing how the group thinks, how the individual will react, and how to strategically maneuver each without their awareness, it is easier to control them.

 The only true ‘Unknown’ will be exactly that; the unknown. Someone ‘off the grid’ who rarely/never interacts with the central system, or the monitored system will be harder to predict in action or deed. But then, even they will be allotted into the framework of the entirety by simple theoretical expectation.

 Does this sound too ‘Matrix’ for you? I pride myself (yeah, they already know that to be sure) in never allowing Fringe Theory into my reality, and only allowing what is proven, what is tangible, and what I have experienced in my life. Although I am a ‘Master of None’ I have the formidable ‘Jack of All Trades’ lifetime to say with accuracy that the points above are in fact realistic, scary, and damning.

 The simple reality to this plan is all around us, out for all to see. We have cell phones which make our lives easier, but it’s all coded to the core with tracking firmware and recording/forwarding software. We are given ‘games/applications/easier tools’ which help track our movements, our friends movements, and planning for our movements. Our computers are the same. Heck, even the printer paper you use has thermal imprints to track it’s movement and the register we purchase it from tracks it. So handbills are not ‘Anonymous’ either.  Our food is ‘planned’ and realistically developed to increase our ‘want’ of it by taste, but also reduce our life expectancy due to it not affording us the same nutrition that nature has over our 200,000 plus years of evolution. But we buy it willingly. Everything we do buy, we make agreements with ourselves about how ‘just this once’ is okay, because damnit, that’s what we’ve been set up to allow for. Think $299, $1499, $29,999 in pricing and you’ll understand. We’ve been taught to lie to ourselves about little things, like how much we pay for things. Because it’s easier to control us when they know we’ll even lie to ourselves to make better sense of the world.

 This facility is not a surprise, nor is it a futile attempt to ‘try’ something to see if it works. The kind of resources and planning that went into it didn’t happen by accident. It is planned, and it’s for more than just a ‘data dump’.

 Once you start thinking about what it truly could and is to be used for, the faster you’ll determine what you need to do for yourself, your family, and your future. Or you can just take the Blue Pill, lean back in your chair, close your eyes for a second, shudder off all you know, and exist..........in the manner which is both planned for you and created for them.


No matter if it's devolution, or simply a better fence to control the chattel, it is about control, and it is about your control. What need have they of being controlled? We've given them all the right to our control now, simply by allowing our own ignorance and participation. Me too. These are all my regrets as they should be yours. Although, I am taking huge steps now to at least say 'I shall not go quietly into that dark, stench-filled, and painful night' and remove myself from as many of the controls and monitors as possible.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Those technologies still don't really work. The ONE that's promising is a brain-scan determining if long-term memories are triggered in reaction to a visual response. That's too hard to trick because it's too fast for the conscious mind to block.

It's also far too easy for the rest of us, if we choose, to throw enough chaff in the air that the "unknown" becomes too large to compute, to sift, to see, to touch and chasing ghosts is the best they can hope for.

Errol's picture

Mr Bogus, I agree.  So they intend to monitor Snooki's every phone call and text?  Talk about trying to drink from a fire hose...

ss123's picture

No. They don't care about Snooki.

They have detected aliens.

There is no other reason for something of this magnitude.

Look at the code name:

CoolBeans's picture

A stellar wind is also what comes off a dying star.  Guess a big facility like this is needed when 50 stars are dying.

Manthong's picture

"no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude."

How about "Obama Bites" er, "Obamabytes" in honor of the usurper-in-chief presiding over the construction.

Oh regional Indian's picture

An inevitable consequence of our faster and faster slicing of time. Look at those alien terms undillions?

Undillions, Inner Trillions? But anyways, tera-Flops, that about says it all. 

Crazy world and there is a good reason for all of this, being missed COMPLETELY by EVERYONE.




Hansel's picture

FYI to all:  There is a heavy bullshit component to this article.  It claims the data facility would/could hold 1 yottabyte (1012 terabytes).  At ~$50 per terabyte for hard drive costs, that is $50 trillion in hard drive costs alone... while the article says the whole facility will cost $2 billion.

Something is messed up.

GetZeeGold's picture



Heh heh......I just got banned over at Kitco for posting a photo from a current news article as a joke to some guy claiming a thread just blew his mind.


Welcome to the nanny state.


Careful..........this is PG stuff.......it could blow your mind. Maybe I should just pull my news references from Glenn Beck's site.....I thought everyone over there loved HuffPo. :)


bernorange's picture

"... and nobody cares."

I care.

GetZeeGold's picture




Please don't.


In fact.......please leave the thinking to us.


We'll let you know if you should care.....and definitely don't click that link if you don't want your head to blow off.....cause it will.


Crap....this is worse than I thought.....not only is it on HuffPo.....Beck is running the same story.




TruthInSunshine's picture

It's Sunday @ 4:35 eastern standard time, and I just read this article.

What's going to happen, despite the alleged incredible processing power and impressive cryptological abilities of the new 'Total Information Awareness' infrastructure, is that the human personnel will drown in data, and won't be able to even keep up 1/1000th of the information being painted, tracked and harvested.

The massive volume of data from the 'Total Information Awareness' program will flood in so fast that it will overwhelm the weakest link  in the chain (the human peronnel) very quickly.

Cast a large enough fishing net, and you'll sink your vessel.

The taxpayers will be commensurately buried in the expense of this data flooding.

taxpayer102's picture


A hand written letter in an envelope affixed with a stamp won't flow through Stellar Winds' servers and routers or store in a database.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You are very likely right. With some recognition technologies there's a chance to filter it down so that no more than a viable quantity & compexity of data hits each person & the rest is sifted while people sleep but who knows. Already just 2 or 3 hits per day on a person is usually enough to determine fraud or valid activity for credit, spending & travel and is already enough to build a simple map of likely locations that will remain valid for some time.

Zero Debt's picture

Concerning the actual "effectiveness", as presented in the propaganda, this facility is fundamentally and totally flawed by design, for several reasons.

1. It takes a single disgruntled employee to breach multiple layers of security, regardless of those physical perimeters and wire etc. Couldn't that cause a leak of the most sensitive info, such as which people are monitoried, what the filters are, what the search terms are, etc? What if loyalty through paychecks and threat of violence is unsustainable?
2. The human brain has 100 billion cells. What if a single brain is more complex than the organization that seeks to understand it?
3. It will create a massive internal bureaucracy with multiple layers of distrust and clearance, leaving "decision making" to a few key people. How could that allow the type of holistic and integrative thinking needed to understand what is going on?
4. All of the "inputs" can be circumvented by just posting items on a USB memory stick in an envelope or local low-power radio. What if this makes the signal monitoring meaningless?
5. All encryption schemes can be invalidated by exchanging shared secrets, so even if the message is technically decrypted, it becomes incomprehensible. What if this requires bureaucrats to use creativity, intuition, fantasy and imagination? Will they be capable to do this in a gray government bunker without daylight?
6. The facility is chasing shadows, and will never see the fire. What if the collective knowledge of the citizens of society will remain superior to any knowledge of their shadow?
7. Why would any suspect continue to use the same phone?
8. The more data is collected, the more of a combinatorial explosion of possible patterns. What if this requires more and more subjective judgement of what pattern is relevant?
9. Having over 1 million suspects itself is a farce. It becomes difficult for a manager to manage a team of over 3-4 diverse people already not to mention 20 people or more. Obviously they may track a few hundred people effectively, no more. The type of minds attracted to the pervert job of doing this will not coincide with the "best and brightest" quadrant. What if this makes scaling impossible?
10. What if the facility realizes that the main threat to security is domestic and caused by the government itself? Would it turn on itself?

Measuring how much data one can gather and how many computers one has to decrypt, how much the barb wire cost, how expensive such and such facility was etc, is just another form of small penis syndrome which has no bearing whatsoever on the above facts.

AustriAnnie's picture

They aren't after "suspects" who know they are suspects.  They are after people like you and me.  When was the last time you set up a secret code to express your dissent on ZH? In e-mails?  They store all of this to use in combo with the NDAA.  

And if they succeed in getting you to go off-grid, they have succeeded, because the goal is not to find you, the goal is to shut you up.  Anyone who goes off-grid or attempts to encrypt their message, doesn't get their message out to the world, and that is all they care about.

The success of surveillance is to get people to self-censor, out of fear:



Zero Debt's picture

I concur yet it still baffles me that most people (not so much those on ZH) still keep thinking along the lines of "well that's a lot of computing power to keep me safe".

CH1's picture

Concerning the actual "effectiveness", as presented in the propaganda...

Ah, GREAT! I now have ten excuses to ignore it all and go back to Dancing With The Stars!

I knew it was just a big conspiracy theory. It's always better to do as we're told.


Zero Debt's picture

Fair enough but seems you're missing my point, these are ten additional reasons to be concerned. It is highly probable that the actual purpose is covert survelliance of ordinary innocent citizens for the purpose of controlling the same. The purpose of my post was to point out that even if we were to believe the official story with all the reasons given by the security-industrial-complex, the facility will not be effective for these stated purposes. The odd thing is that most people actually seem to believe that these kinds of projects have some sort of positive effect on their safety, whereas in reality they don't, as they are based on a multitude of invalid assumptions about what security is all about. Hence these facilities breed both distrust among those who see the true motives, as well as a false sense of security and according lack of preparedness among the more gullible members of society. Which one is more tragic is the subject of another debate.

palmereldritch's picture

At ~$50 per terabyte for hard drive costs, that is $50 trillion in hard drive costs alone... while the article says the whole facility will cost $2 billion.

Something is messed up.

One can probably safely assume their hardware technology is at least 20 years ahead of what we can access

National security reasons I'm sure.  I always wonder which nation they mean when they use that explanation...

Bringin It's picture

You clearly have no comprehension of how government procurement works.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You can store in holographic crystals, holographic discs & holographic protein-forms (bacteriorhodopsin) way faster & cheaper than the kinds of hard drives we use.

Lord Koos's picture

The program was started in the Bush years.  You have a black president, get over it already.  These type of initiatives are independent of whoever the figurehead is.

CH1's picture

Who cares who started it or his skin color?

You REALLY need to get over it.

francis_sawyer's picture

A stellar wind is also what comes off a dying star

Like Liz Taylor's last fart?

CoolBeans's picture

Your parents tried with you.. Lord knows they tried.


Spirit Of Truth's picture

So the NSA is out to control your minds? LOL! Amazing how perfectly Westerners have reality backwards: http://thespiritoftruth.blogspot.com/2010/03/quick-review-of-history.htm...

derek_vineyard's picture

ZHers are high priority for extermination when unrest escalates.  Read/post on this website at your own risk.

i-dog's picture


Dude, they're hoping to wipe out 93% of the planet. All you're doing by being afraid to speak out is getting yourself assigned to the "useless eater" soylent green queue. Even the trolls will be in the same queue as you if they fall behind in their assigned message quotas. LOL !!

Die in shame, you useless excuse for a homo sapiens.

derek_vineyard's picture

you took my post seriously....you are the paranoid pussy--lol

i-dog's picture

Yeah...you tricked me. Clever you.

It was indeed silly of me to miss the /sarc in:

"ZHers are high priority for extermination when unrest escalates. Read/post on this website at your own risk."

Stop trying, whether accidentally or on purpose, to silence the nervous Nellies. Moron.

Spirit Of Truth's picture

I know folk in the NSA and US intelligence community.  Truly....you kid yourselves.  If there ever was an "oxymoron", "U.S. intelligence" fits the bill.


You all see devils where there are none and miss the Satanic elephant in the middle of the room. It's quite patently insane. 

The truth is I'm not here to manage your perceptions.  I'm simply telling the hard truth.  Yet, you despise and reject me.  Now why is this? 

The reality is that you are akin to cattle happily cooperating in being herded to your slaughter.  I suggest revolt.  But, jeepers, that'd be crazy?  Seriously...W-T-F...

CompassionateFascist's picture

I'll take Putin and the "Third Rome" over the the warmongering Zionists who've hijacked America. Nice site, but you are seriously deluded.

Spirit Of Truth's picture

I'm not deluded and you're going to get what you ask for.  Enjoy expressing your opinions freely while you can. Your delusion will not last.

derek_vineyard's picture

I didn't mean to trick you. It was semi-sarcastic. 

Data of all types is stored in mass on all people and it will just increase.  Equifax (and other credit agencies) already provide immense personal info to all types of companies as we are catergorized for all sorts of purposes. 

A universal database of all our medical records has a lot of positive applications (although if the shit hits the fan the negative applications will be fatal)

I can't even guess what the government knows about me......but as of yet I would venture to guess for now it has useful and non threatening applications to me, personally.

Of course the line will soon be crossed of rampant invasion of privacy, we are stupid fucking humans.

GetZeeGold's picture


He quoted 93%.


It use to be 99%


I'd be a little paranoid.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

There's a key weakness to all of this. Even though the people doing this don't give a shit about this country or its constitution, and don't mind working for what is essentially an occupational government, they don't work for free. They have families to support and bills to pay.

When the US dollar loses its reserve currency status, a lot of dollars will come flooding back to this country. Their holders will be looking to exchange them for anything of value, leaving the dollar on shaky ground. How long will the spooks in Utah continue to work when a month's pay only covers a week's expenses?

Oh, pardon me:

Stellar Wind Emile Autouri signals intelligence Fort Meade thermobaric terror bomb anthrax Guantanamo shopping mall polonium Charles Nelson Reilly claymore mine grenade launcher lutefisk IED assassinate Studebaker Hoch hijack Al Qaida ricin SMERSH electromagnetic pulse Wink Martindale Hezbollah Federal Reserve CIA Mossad Lady Gaga detonator Lemmiwinks Santorum calutron plutonium Juarez Bank for International Settlements Cayman Islands MANPADS nuclear trigger Cleveland Steamer crop duster Howard Cosell Forex Fx Trading LMAX parrot and parakeet training tape International Monetary Fund carbuncle RPG clostridium Olde Frothingslosh ebola Dimona smuggling roachclip Butthole Surfers bongwater National Reconnaissance Office Don Rickles Backstreet Boys Edward G. Robinson steganography Lee van Cleef kaopectate


RafterManFMJ's picture

"How many fingers, Winston?"


Hey! I just realized this also encapsulates the non-sensical, unmathmatical, and non-reality-based division of economics known as 'Keynesian'!

And since I like to add value to a post, read this link about just how over the top evil this Keynes devil was...and realize how he fits right in with the 'ruling class'



Read it all at the above link. 


Singing the Red Flag, the highborn sons of the British upper-class lay on the carpeted floor spinning out socialist schemes in homosexual intermission. Sometimes, one of the participants would shout out an obscenity - then, as if on signal, the entire group would join in a frenzied babble of profanity. Here and there individuals would smoke or chew hashish. Most had unkempt long hair, and some sported beards.

The attitude in such gatherings was anti-establishmentarian. To them the older generation was horribly out of date; even superfluous. The capitalist system was declared obsolete, and revolution was proclaimed as the only solution. Christianity was pronounced an enemy force, and the worst sort of depravities were eulogized as “that love which passes all Christian understanding.”

The year was 1904, and the participants were destined to become the intellectual and political leaders of the British Empire.

Chief of this ring of homosexual revolutionaries was John Maynard Keynes, who eventually became the economic architect of English socialism and gravedigger for the British Empire. The chief American Fabians, acting as carriers of the Keynesian sickness, were Felix Frankfurter and Walter Lippmann. Covertly, they mobilized their Leftist comrades to spread this pollution in America also. So successful were they that on January 4, 1971, President Nixon announced: “I am now a Keynesian in economics.” What does that mean?

Keynes was characterized by his male sweetheart, Lytton Strachey, as “A liberal and a sodomite, an atheist and a statistician.” His particular depravity was the sexual abuse of little boys. In communications to his homosexual friends, Keynes advised that they go to Tunis, “where bed and boy were also not expensive.” As a sodomistic pedophiliac, he ranged throughout the Mediterranean area in search of boys for himself and his fellow socialists. Taking full advantage of the bitter poverty and abysmal ignorance in North Africa, the Middle East, and Italy, he purchased the bodies of children prostituted for English shillings[See Lytton Strachey, A Critical Biography, Michael Holyroyd, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, two volumes].

BigJim's picture

The evidence that Keynes was a pedophile is pretty slim.

Yes, they used to talk about buying 'boys', but 'boy', back then in upper class slang, could be a male of pretty much any age - look at fellow homo Noel Coward's 'Mad About the Boy', which clearly is not about a 'boy' as we would use the word.

Fortunately, there's no need to poison the well with regards to Keynes - his theories are awful enough on their own.

jwoop66's picture

Don't try and  convince anyone here that socialism is bad, they know there is no difference between left/right.


/sarc of course

carguym14's picture

You don't think they have been using our tax dollars to stock food and other supplies for the "chosen ones"??