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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 20, 2014

 
"Mandrake, have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?"

by digby

Bad time for a drought:
The Utah state records committee ordered the city of Bluffdale Wednesday to release records of the National Security Agency’s water use for its controversial data center, despite protests from the NSA that the information should be classified because of national security.

The city redacted specific figures on the NSA’s water usage last year in response to a Salt Lake Tribune public records request. Estimates have ballparked the water usage of the agency’s new Bluffdale facility around 1.2 to 1.7 million gallons every day to cool an approximate 100,000 square feet of computer equipment.

The NSA says it redacted the documents requested by the Tribune because they could reveal the breadth of the agency’s controversial surveillance program. Because that water is used to cool servers, the more water the building uses, the more computing power the agency has.
And then Al Qaeda will know that the US Government has a lot of computing power and they'll decide to attack us. Or something.

It's not as if every interested person on the planet doesn't already know about this massive data center in Utah. If they think it's under wraps they really are out of touch.

But it turns out that national security isn't really the issue at all:
Bluffdale is giving the NSA a massive discount on its utilities, allowing the facility to use essentially as much water as it wants without facing higher rates. Meanwhile, Utah is facing one of the worst droughts in recent history. The vast majority of the state is in a moderate drought or at least abnormally dry, and water reservoir levels are below normal for the third year in a row...

The NSA may have to start getting creative if state legislators get their way. In protest of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks that revealed the agency’s phone and email surveillance programs, Utah lawmakers are threatening to cut off the center’s water and cripple the NSA’s operations. In February, a state Republican lawmaker promised to introduce a bill that would bar anyone in the state from supplying water to the $1.5 billion facility.

Thirteen states have taken up similar bills to limit the NSA’s presence by cutting off access to vital resources. Maryland lawmakers set out to cut off the electricity and water to the NSA’s headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland. There, the NSA’s water bill was estimated to hit $2 million a year for 5 million gallons of water a day.
So they're using the classification system to protect their ability to access the state of Utah's water supply and will probably do the same in other places too. But don't worry. That's surely the first time they've ever abused that privilege to mislead the public.


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