The NSA spies on the world. To accomplish this, the agency needs a network of facilities across the Unite States. In all likelihood, the NSA has operations close to your own back yard.
Below you will find a list of known facilities across the United States. Keep in mind, the NSA likely operates in areas we don't even know about. The following listings will be updated regularly as new research reveals new information.
1. ALL 50 STATES
The NSA once promised it was only spying on people in other countries. Then the agency swore it was only on “terrorists.” Now we know the NSA funnels data and other information captured without a warrant, as required by the 4th Amendment, to local law enforcement via a previously-secret organization connected to the DEA called Special Operations Division (SOD). The 4th Amendment Protection Act would ban your state from accepting this kind of warrantless information in its criminal investigations. (take action here)
2. 42 STATES
The NSA has established deep partnerships with over 170 universities around the country. These partnerships not only provide a massive recruiting ground for future NSA spies, it serves as a major source of research and testing – all expanding the NSAs warrantless data-collection capabilities. Your state can end these partnerships at public colleges and unversities. (take action here)
3. Ft. Meade, Maryland
In 2006, the Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA had maxed out capacity of the Baltimore-area power grid via Baltimore Gas and Electric. Insiders reported that “The NSA is already unable to install some costly and sophisticated new equipment. At minimum, the problem could produce disruptions leading to outages and power surges. At worst, it could force a virtual shutdown of the agency.” Provided by Baltimore Gas and Electric, the cost of electricity at Fort Meade was probably one of NSA’s single biggest expenses, according to Matthew Aid, author of The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency (Bloomsbury Press, 2009). He estimated the agency could end up spending 95 percent less on electricity in Utah than in Maryland.
4. Bluffdale, Utah
The new “Data Center” is a massive complex. Officials estimate it will use 1.7 million gallons of water per day to operate once it's at full capacity. That water is provided by a political subdivision of the state of Utah. The electricity is provided by Rocky Mountain Power. Snow removal is by another contractor.
5. San Antonio, Texas
The Texas Cryptologic Center is being built on the site of a former Sony warehouse, just down the road from a new Microsoft data center. The NSA waited to confirm Microsoft’s opening there before leasing the property from Corporate Office Properties Trust. The independent power grid in Texas was also a major part of the decision to locate there. This once again confirms the NSA’s very real concern about access to power. The electricity is provided by CPS Energy, the United States’ largest municipally owned utility company, with combined natural gas and electric service. It appears the company will supply water as well.
“No longer able to store all the intercepted phone calls and e-mail in its secret city, the agency has now built a new data warehouse in San Antonio, Texas,” writes author James Bamford in the Shadow Factory, his third book about the NSA. “Costing, with renovations, upwards of $130 million, the 470,000-square-foot facility will be almost the size of the Alamodome. Considering how much data can now be squeezed onto a small flash drive, the new NSA building may eventually be able to hold all the information in the world.”
This location also houses NSA’s TAO hacking unit (Tailored Access Operations), and is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.
6. Augusta, Georgia
The city of Augusta handles water and sewage treatment for the Threat Operations Center located there. Before a partnership in 2006 with Georgia Power, outages were a regular occurrence on post. This was particularly a problem during the summer, when heavy demands were placed on the system.
7. Yakima, Washington
The “listening post” is scheduled to be closed and moved to Colorado. No date “in the future” has been confirmed.
8. Aurora, Colorado
Intelligence collected from the geostationary satellites, as well as signals from other spacecraft and overseas listening posts, is relayed to this facility outside Denver. About 850 NSA employees track the satellites, transmit target information, and download the intelligence haul.
9. Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Some 300 scientists and computer engineers with top security clearance toil away at a facility in Oak Ridge. They labor to build the world’s fastest supercomputers. A new facility was recently built on the East Campus of Oak Ridge. The Multiprogram Computational Data Center operates out of a five-story, $41 million building completed in 2006. According to Wired Magazine, "behind the brick walls and green-tinted windows, 318 scientists, computer engineers, and other staff work in secret on the cryptanalytic applications of high-speed computing and other classified projects." The NSA hopes to build an exaflop-scale machine capable of cracking the most advanced encryption. The computer will reportedly produce a gargantuan amount of heat, requiring 60,000 tons of cooling equipment, the same amount that was needed to serve both of the World Trade Center towers.
10. Oahu, Hawaii
Focuses on intercepts from Asia. Built to house an aircraft assembly plant during World War II, the 250,000-square-foot bunker is nicknamed the Hole. Like the other NSA operations centers, it has since been expanded: Its 2,700 employees now do their work above ground from a new 234,000-square-foot facility.
11. Sugar Grove, West Virginia
The Sugar Grove Station downloads a “staggering” amount of communications per NSA expert James Bamford.