The National Security Agency plans to build a massive data center at a National Guard camp in Utah to sift through the huge volumes of data being collected by the country’s spy agencies.

The National Guard’s Camp Williams has been selected as the site for the data center, based on its availability of secure space, robust communications infrastructure, and a low cost of power, said a spokesperson for the Office of National Intelligence. Camp Williams was selected after evaluations took place of 38 potential sites.

The exact activities that will take place in the data center are being kept secret, however, NSA Deputy Director Glenn Gaffney said at a ceremony to announce the project at the Utah capital that one of the center’s missions will be to detect possible attacks on the nation’s cyber networks.

“The reason we are doing the center is because of the deep level of technical expertise that’s needed to understand the nature of the threat, and then how we use the information about that threat throughout the intelligence community,” Gaffney said.

A report commissioned by the Department of Defense previously noted that more sophisticated sensors and data gathering technologies are amassing huge volumes of new data, but that the nation lacks the capacity to fully sift through and understand that data.

The $1.5 billion data center will create 10,000 construction jobs and will employ about 200 once completed. It will also be a huge power user, consuming about 65 megawatts of power – enough to keep the lights on at every home in Salt Lake City.

 

 

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