The NSA introduces us to the “zettabyte”

Talk about farm subsidies, the NSA is almost finished with its new data farm in Utah. According to NPR, it holds five zettabytes of data! 

“There is almost certainly surveillance that they would like to do and have not been able to do because they didn’t have the storage or computing resources to perform the searches.” Soghoian adds. “And this will give them the ability to do more searches through more innocent people’s information.”

The estimated power of those computing resources in Utah is so massive it requires use of a little-known unit of storage space: the zettabyte. Cisco quantifies a zettabyte as the amount of data that would fill 250 billion DVDs.

via Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm : NPR.

The thing costs $1.2 billion to build and will cost $20 million per year to operate. Frankly, I think I’d rather see that money go to actual farmers.