The NSA to Store a YOTTABYTE of Your Phone Calls, Emails and Other Big Brothery Stuff

Illustration for article titled The NSA to Store a YOTTABYTE of Your Phone Calls, Emails and Other Big Brothery Stuff

In Utah, the National Security Agency is building a $2 billion storage facility that will house and analyze all forms of electronic communication...a potential yottabyte of everyone's (formerly) personal data. So how big is a yottabyte? CrunchGear puts it well:

There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte, a thousand terabytes in a petabyte, a thousand petabytes in an exabyte, a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte, and a thousand zettabytes in a yottabyte. In other words, a yottabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000GB.

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In terms of data on current human scales, a yottabyte is nearly infinite (though I'm sure the NSA will manage to fill the thing in like 2 weeks, and iPods will come with yottabytes in just a few months).

To be fair, the yottabyte figure is just one estimate generated by a Pentagon think tank. The facility could hold a mere hundreds of petabytes. But either way, the prospect is as unsustainable as it is frightening. This one facility will burn through as much electricity as the entirety of Salt Lake City.

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All of this data comes from the book The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency by Matthew M. Aid. And while the paranoid among you may read it, I, MARK WILSON, HAVE NO REASON TO FEAR THE NSA'S INVOLVEMENT IN MY LIFE OR INFORMATION AT ALL. [NYBooks via CrunchGear]

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DISCUSSION

They can store it but can they process it? Seems incredibly pointless to me if they just end up with data overload. Especially when I can just associate my name, telephone calls, online activity, etc with a lot of useless junk and trends. Signing (good) posts with your real name, using programs like track me not, etc has worked well with google. I don't see why it won't be much harder to flood the NSA with a lot of bogus data simply by chatting more on the phone with my mother or sister, or using my credit card to buy lunch every day.

Tracking people's everyday moves is not that hard, but it creates a lot of data that has to be sifted through. #yottabyte