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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Purpose of one million square-feet, $1.9 billion facility in the Utah Valley kept secret

Amid the brouhaha over the National Security Administration reported procurement of U.S. citizens' private emails and telephone conversations, the purpose of a freshly constructed one million square-foot, $1.9 billion facility in the Utah Valley is now under question. Called the Utah Data Center, construction is expected to be finished by October. Some are questioning: is THIS where all my private information will be stored.

Many fear the Utah NSA Data Center holds a sinister purpose ... officials aren't saying.

Many fear the Utah NSA Data Center holds a sinister purpose ... officials aren't saying.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: NSA, Utah, Utah Data Center, privacy, National Security Agency, emails, phone calls


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - U.S. intelligence agencies have been extracting audio, video, photos, e-mails, documents and other information to track people's movements and contacts. It's all ostensibly to curtail terrorist activity here.

Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Skype and AOL have all been involved with the PRISM program, which the government insists is for national security.

Constructed on Camp Williams on the Salt Lake-Utah County line, the exact purpose of the Utah Data Center has been vague. Officials have been tight-lipped about what will be stored there.

Plans released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is handling the construction, show the center will have four "data halls" to store information and two substations to power the facility.

Expected to employ 100 to 200 permanent employees after its completion, z prerequisite for employment is that all applicants must be U.S. citizens.
 
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah have expressed concern over what they fear will be stored at the center.

"We're mining data, we're gathering data and it's all done secretly," ACLU of Utah director Karen McCreary told reporters. "We don't even know what's going on."

"When the NSA facility in Utah was announced, local officials praised it for the jobs it would bring," Libertas director Connor Boyack added.

"As Americans are now learning, those jobs entail harvesting the data generated by innocent Americans not suspected of any crime, in contradiction to the Fourth Amendment."

The Washington Post broke the news that for the past six years, U.S. intelligence agencies have been extracting personal information from across the country.

The PRISM program was launched in 2007 with the blessing of special federal judges under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Several members of the U.S. Congress were made aware of the classified data-gathering program, but were sworn to secrecy, according to the Post.

PRISM has been described by NSA officials "as the most prolific contributor to the president's Daily Brief" and the "leading source of raw material," the Post reported.

In the meantime, U.S. President Barack Obama says the PRISM program does not involve monitoring the email content of U.S. citizens or anyone living in the U.S., and he repeatedly stated that both programs - the phone spying and PRISM - have been approved by Congress.

"You can complain about 'big brother' and how this is a potential program run amuck," Obama said, "but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've stuck the right balance."

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