The National Security Agency is putting the finishing touches to a huge datacentre that will be used to store the personal phone calls, emails and Google searches of people on the agency's watch list.
The $2bn (£1.26bn) 'Utah Data Center' was detailed in an article published by Wired on Thursday. The facility will have 100,000 square feet of IT space split across four 25,000-square foot data halls.
Its job will be to store any and all data that relates to the million or so people on the NSA's watch list — ranging from emails, to phone calls, to Google searches. The agency has also enlisted supercomputer specialist Cray to help it build a new multi-petaflop supercomputer to attempt to crack the popular AES-256 encryption standard.
Cray announced a supercomputer architecture in mid-2011 named XK6 which can scale up to 50 petaflops of computing power when using forthcoming processors from AMD and Intel.
The Utah datacentre has its own substation, capable of delivering 65MW of power to the facility. It should be up and running by 2013, according to Wired.
For perspective, Facebook's primary datacentre in Prineville, Oregon, is expected to eventually draw around 28MW of power to feed the machines in its 300,000-square feet of IT space.
Therefore, the NSA will use IT infrastructure that is significantly more dense and power-hungry than that used by Facebook. It is likely the NSA will use more powerful processors than those employed by companies like Google and Facebook to power their online services.