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NSA Databases of Uberness

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By this point, virtually everyone has heard of CISPA. It has been associated with SOPA, chastised, and is now dropping out of public attention, and slinking back to whist it came. But one aspect of this is being grossly overlooked, something that is not easy to do when CISPA involves storing every last bit of human information. What is going with the servers? For a project of this magnitude, they (the NSA) must need tens of millions of servers, if not more. That's an awful lot of servers. Just to put things in perspective here, Google is estimated to have 2376640 servers (c. late 2012). The power use is astronomical, but they are a business necessity for Google. They have been paying for themselves since Google stopped being a graduate project, and became one of the most powerful companies in the world. But remember; Google is a corporation. It exists to make money, and it has succeeded. But the NSA is not a corporation. It is a government agency tasked with protecting the American people from harm, flawed as it's tactics may be. Given the fiscally conservative atmosphere of congress right now, it is highly doubtful that a nation that cannot afford to consistently feed it's poor will be able to construct and operate the largest server farm in the world, at least without severe cuts to just about every other sector of government. Anyway, back to the servers. A second challenge arises after acquiring the tens of millions of servers. No, it does not have to do with space. The government owns quite a large mass of land on the Great Plains. But here is what it is; powering the servers. At times, all of the server farms in the Silicon Valley area have taken the power grid to the brink of a blackout (and with some rarity, past that brink). But this would dwarf that tremendously, either necessitating that the U.S rapidly increase it's oil consumption, that it adopt Thorium reactors in the blink of an eye, or that it cuts off power to most of the western hemisphere. But no one wants to import oil anymore, Thorium is years away, and if the western hemisphere had no power, the servers would be useless, as no data would be generated by the populace in a format that the servers could store. Now a third and final problem arises. How is it possible to safeguard this massive trove of data from interlopers? The later question first. As AES has proven rather malleable, the NSA is forced to come up with some new standard. But if it were to use some hypothetical more advanced method, it could risk issues with server firmware and need still more power to run. But if they leave off the encryption, or use some light standard, data that might be essential to the survival of a world power will be put at risk. Not an option. So they will simply have to remove any ports from the servers, and put them on around the clock guard. Mobilizing a sizable fraction of the Army to do this. An even worse option. Even if all of these problems are somehow solved, a final barrier stands to success. How will you look through all of this information? Several Gigabytes per person quickly adds up. Existing software is far from up to the task. And all of this effort is quite useless if by uploading a few mediocre videos to YouTube each day, the entire system can be overwhelmed. In conclusion: CISPA is a joke, and not a funny one either.

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