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Security quotes of the week

Concluding with the massive expansion of surveillance since 9/11, the report delves into the many ways the government now spies on Americans without any suspicion of wrongdoing, from warrantless wiretapping to cell phone location tracking - but with little to show for it. "The reality is that as governmental surveillance has become easier and less constrained, security agencies are flooded with junk data, generating thousands of false leads that distract from real threats," the report says.
-- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) previews its A Call to Courage: Reclaiming Our Liberties Ten Years After 9/11 report

So much intercepted information is now being collected from "enemies" at home and abroad that, in order to store it all, the agency [US National Security Agency] last year began constructing the ultimate monument to eavesdropping. Rising in a remote corner of Utah, the agency's gargantuan data storage center will be 1 million square feet, cost nearly $2 billion and likely be capable of eventually holding more than a yottabyte of data — equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.
-- James Bamford
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Security quotes of the week

Posted Sep 15, 2011 6:00 UTC (Thu) by zmi (guest, #4829) [Link]

1 Yottabyte = 1.000 Zettabyte = 1 mio. Exabyte = 1 billion Petabyte = 1.000 billion Terabyte. That means 333 billion 3TB hard disks. That would cost more than 2 billion dollar, so either I or the author made some error I guess? (see for a translation table of yottabyte to terabyte)

Security quotes of the week

Posted Sep 15, 2011 7:05 UTC (Thu) by osma (subscriber, #6912) [Link]

"eventually" might be significant here...

Security quotes of the week

Posted Sep 15, 2011 7:44 UTC (Thu) by zmi (guest, #4829) [Link]

Ah, little english language tweaking. So I guess it "eventually" could be 500 billion yottabytes too. I have to remember that... btw, I'm eventually going to marry George W. Bush... ;-)

Security quotes of the week

Posted Sep 16, 2011 18:27 UTC (Fri) by jeremiah (subscriber, #1221) [Link]

I'm just happy to learn that septillion is a word. I've always though so, but never checked. Not do I plan to now.

Security quotes of the week

Posted Sep 18, 2011 20:19 UTC (Sun) by jzbiciak (subscriber, #5246) [Link]

That does seem awful high. But, hard disk capacity seems to grow by about a factor of 100 every 10 years. (I see a 1 million to 1 ratio between 1980 and 2010, which is a factor of 100 every 10 years.)

So, if it takes them 10 years to build this thing, then presumably with the state of the art disks of 2021, it would only take 3 billion 333TB hard disks. And, if it's like most other government institutions, it'll be around for far longer than 10 years. In 2031, you could achieve 1 Yottabyte with only 30 million 33PB disks. And so it goes.

I also have to believe that at these sizes, the vast majority of the data is stored in some archival form, not actual spinning hard drives. That could give you a nice density advantage as well.

Security quotes of the week

Posted Sep 19, 2011 5:22 UTC (Mon) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

according to the formula at

cost per GB = 10^(6.304 - 0.2502(year - 1980)

so by 2028 you should by the required amount of hard drive for $2billions.

that being said, the quote said that it is the 23 acres 'data-center' that cost 2 billions.. doubtful that the 2 billions include the disks... or even anything except the building itself and the infrastructure (AC, power, network wiring...).

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