Though the NSA’s vast data storage facility in Utah is now hardly a secret, new information has surfaced indicating widespread technical failures delaying its opening, including 10 “meltdowns” within the past 13 months.
The Pentagon’s facility, located in Bluffdale, which lies south of Salt Lake City, is being built to house a gargantuan quantity of data harvested, presumably, by many of the NSA’s surveillance programs now made public by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Estimates of the facility’s capacity, which is classified, ranges from exabytes or zettabytes, reports the Wall Street Journal. An exabyte being equivalent to 100,000 times the size of printed material held by the Library of Congress, while a zettabyte is 1,000 times that amount.
A new report compiled through project documents and information provided to the WSJ by officials cite a number of electrical surges -- called “arc fault failures" -- which over the past 13 months have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, and delayed the facility from going active for a year.
According to one official, such arc fault failures can resemble “a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box”and can melt metal and destroy circuitry.
Speculation as to whether the NSA’s facility in Utah is already active has been rampant, and indications are that its equipment is being slowly brought online as it becomes available, rather than in one dramatic on-switch moment......