An anonymous reader writes in with an article from a Texas paper on the NSA's new facility in San Antonio. "America's top spy agency has taken over the former Sony microchip plant and is transforming it into a new data-mining headquarters... where billions of electronic communications will be sifted in the agency's mission to identify terrorist threats. ... [Author James] Bamford writes about how NSA and Microsoft had both been eyeing San Antonio for years because it has the cheapest electricity in Texas, and the state has its own power grid, making it less vulnerable to power outages on the national grid. He notes that it seemed the NSA wanted assurance Microsoft would be here, too, before making a final commitment, due to the advantages of 'having their miners virtually next door to the mother lode of data centers.' The new NSA facility is just a few miles from Microsoft's data center of the same size. Bamford says that under current law, NSA could gain access to Microsoft's stored data without even a warrant, but merely a fiber-optic cable." The article mentions the NRC report concluding that data mining is ineffective as a tactic against terrorism, which we discussed a couple of months back.
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