June 7, 2013: A military no trespassing sign is posted in front of the data center in Bluffdale, Utah. The nation's new billion-dollar epicenter for fighting global cyberthreats sits just south of Salt Lake City, tucked away on a National Guard base at the foot of snow-capped mountains.
June 12, 2013: The long, squat buildings span 1.5 million square feet, and are filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails.
June 6, 2013: An aerial view of the National Security Agency's data center in Bluffdale, Utah. Former NSA employee William Binney told The Associated Press that he estimates the agency collects records on 3 billion phone calls each day.
What's inside the facility is a closely guarded secret. Experts say it's likely to resemble this Google data center in Berkeley County, S.C., where backup tapes of data are stored. Each tape has a unique barcode so that the company's robotic system can locate the right one.
Beyond just backup tapes, the facility likely holds row upon row of server computers like these at Google's data center in The Dalles, Ore. Google uses these data centers to store email, photos, video, calendar entries and other information shared by its users.
June 6, 2013: An aerial view of the exterior reveals nothing about the facility where the government is likely to begin storing secretly collected telephone records of millions of U.S. Verizon customers, according to a top-secret court order revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
June 6, 2013: An aerial view of the cooling units at the NSA's enormous Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah.
June 6, 2013: The long, squat buildings span 1.5 million square feet, and are filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails.
June 10, 2013: Seen at night, the nation's new billion-dollar epicenter for fighting global cyberthreats resembles an ordinary office building.
June 10, 2013: The mammoth center, which cost some $1.7 billion, will allow the agency to store more and, perhaps more importantly, keep information for much longer. It may hold up to a yottabyte of information, the largest measurement computer scientists have. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text.
June 6, 2013: NSA officials have said the agency chose the Bluffdale location over 37 others because electricity is cheaper here, and land more easily available. The center will constantly use 65 megawatts of power -- enough to power 33,000 houses.
June 6, 2013: Most of the 150 to 200 workers instead will be technicians charged with keeping the power on and the computers chilled and working.
The NSA is collecting millions of U.S. phone records along with digital communications on nine major Internet providers and is likely to store it in secret at an immense Utah facility, scheduled to open in October. Read more