Rand Paul Wants to Close down NSA Data Center
Senator Rand Paul is in the midst of a tight race to become a potential presidential candidate. On the last weekend in August, the Republican from Kentucky visited Utah. While touring the country in an attempt to garner votes isn’t an unusual practice in politics, Paul had more on his mind than just the possible presidency. His eyes and attention were set on the NSA Data Center. Making the strong plea that “bulk data collection must end!,” he pledged that if residents were to elect him as president that he very much intended to rip the data center down to the ground and replace it with a Constitutional Center so that visitors could learn more about the Fourth Amendment.
Also known as the Utah Data Center and sometimes called by its code name of Bumblehive, the NSA Data Center exists as a part of President Barack Obama’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative. During his first term, President Obama insisted that his federal teams sift through country infrastructure, communications, and other information to find a way to keep that infrastructure private and safe for all citizens. In 2009, he appointed an Executive Branch Cybersecurity Coordinator by recommendation of the Cyberspace Policy Review. This Executive Branch reviews private sector information as well as that from government on the local and state levels. Other duties include researching the best way to keep US information safe, preparing for cyber breaches, and spreading awareness about cyber security.
The Utah Data Center is at the core of it all. Noted as the first of its kind, this Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-Security Initiative or IC CNI allows for the Executive Branch and the Intelligence Community to work in unison at the Utah Data Center to keep our nation’s information private. This LEED Silver building is one million square feet, with 100,000 square feet taken up by a Tier III data center. Costing $1.5 billion to erect and maintain, the Bluffdale/Camp Williams building boasts 20 stories that include backup power that could last three days, backup generators, a visitor control center, a vehicle inspection facility, a fire pump house, an electric substation, chiller plants, and water treatment facilities. It’s unknown why Paul would push so hard to remove a structure so critical to the protection of our nation’s cyber data.