The NSA's new super digital spying facility in Bluffdale, Utah got plenty of attention
about a year ago, thanks to a detailed article in Wired Magazine by James Bamford that revealed many details
of the center's existence. Last week, on something of a whim, Forbes reporter Kash Hill, who was nearby for another reason, decided to just drive up to the facility
to see what she could see. It turns out that it was surprisingly easy to drive right up to the parking lot (though she later realized she had missed two small signs, saying that the road was private and that trespassing was not allowed). Still, you'd think that the place, even while (or perhaps especially while) under construction, wouldn't be that easy to access. Amusingly, it appears that whoever the NSA hired to program their entrance sign has a sense of humor:
However, the guards who eventually came to see what Hill was doing didn't have quite the same sense of humor, asking her repeatedly to delete all the photos she had taken, and taking her ID (and that of the other person in the car who, thankfully, happened to be a knowledgeable lawyer who was able to speak up for their rights). You can read the entire harrowing tale at that link above, but Hill is eventually allowed to leave, though she did agree to delete a couple images that showed the license plate on a guard SUV, realizing that she just wanted to get out of there. The whole story is a bit surreal.