Our Rulers’ $1.5 Billion “Backup Hard Drive”

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I assume that work as a telemarketer is pretty discouraging. If someone actually answers his phone when you ring in these days of Caller-ID, he’s no doubt rude and brusque. You’re a pest and you know it.

Ah, but there’s an entity out there that appreciates all you pests so much it’s not only recording your calls — and mine –, it’s copying those recordings. Yep, as we all know, the Feds have invested $ 1.5 billion of our money in a “data farm” in Utah despite all their hype about “sequestration.” But you may not realize that this boondoggle is even more offensively wasteful than you thought: it is “essentially the world’s largest backup hard drive… It’ll be one of several data farms that make up the [NSA’a] digital backbone, but information kept there won’t be unique. … Utah’s center will house the most data but everything is networked and if the center goes down, [Lonny] Anderson[, the NSA’s chief information officer]  says, no data will be lost.” Well, there goes that hope. “‘What we’re trying to do,’ Anderson said, ‘is build this integrated network, where I’ve got redundancy built in so I can ensure mission [operators] they can do what they need to do.’” Oh, he’s got redundancy, all right: $1.5 billion-worth on our dime. I was immensely baffled that eavesdropping on my calls for Chinese take-out could whup Al Qaeda; I’m even more baffled that copies of those seldom scintillating conversations (“Could I get an order of cold noodles with sesame sauce, please?”) will further that ridiculous goal.

Naturally, Our megalomaniacal Rulers expect Utahns to be “proud and thankful to host” this costly decimation of privacy, decency, and the Constitution. “Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee[,] … has toured the data center … ‘A lot of things the NSA does are completely unrelated to [spying on Americans] that are very important, not just to the war on terror but to a lot of conventional operations as well,’ Stewart said [sic for ‘lied’], ‘and I think [constituents would] be very comfortable with the operations that they’re doing.’ Such a large national security facility finding a home in Utah should be a positive, Stewart says. ‘It symbolizes just the might and the technological marvel that the United States is capable of achieving,’ he added. ‘The second thing it symbolizes is a real commitment to national security.’’

Indeed. Right up there with such emblems as barbed wire, camps, ovens, gulags, torture, Berlin Walls, and drones.

9:54 am on June 24, 2013