EFF, Greenpeace Fly Blimp Over NSA's Utah Datacenter; Launch Campaign To Stop Illegal Internet Spying

from the taking-it-to-the-skies dept

Earlier this week, EFF's Parker Higgins noted that he was about to head on a secretive "adventure to Utah" -- and now it's come out that he was actually there to fly a blimp over the NSA's infamous datacenter in Bluffdale, Utah. You know the one. It's received plenty of attention over the past few years, as it was designed to store a ton of electronic data that the NSA previously didn't have room for. Either way, EFF and Greenpeace teamed up to launch a new campaign called Stand Against Spying, and took to the skies in the blimp to get it some attention.
You can also see a brief video of the blimp taking off. If you look closely, you'll see the big arrow pointing downward from the blimp saying "NSA Illegal Spying Below."
The blimp -- technically a thermal airship called the A.E. Bates, apparently flew over the center for about an hour. In an interview with the Guardian, Higgins noted just how enormous the datacenter appears to be from above:
"The data center is this massive, sprawling complex. I've seen pictures of it, but it's different from the air. You get a sense, really, for the scope of this, the scale of what they're doing there."
Check out the Stand Against Spying website, and, in particular, its new Congressional scorecard rating our elected officials on how good of a job they're doing (or not doing) in protecting our privacy against the NSA. The list, unfortunately, shows how polarized this debate is. There are a lot of "A"s on the list, and a ton of "D"s and "F"s. There are very few "B"s and "C"s in between. The methodology explains how the grades were awarded. Improving grades is pretty straightforward: sponsor or co-sponsor good privacy bills and then vote for them. Simple? Simple. Now, it's time to move more people into the "A" category.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 27th, 2014 @ 6:01pm

    They needed another banner that said this is where they remove and add the ssl.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jun 27th, 2014 @ 6:07pm

    A better use of a blimp

    Than Ron Paul got from the 'ron paul revolution'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 6:30pm

    Useful

    That scorecard system would be very useful around election times. Especially if it was expanded to include other issues and a transparent and objective ranking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Charles (profile), Jun 27th, 2014 @ 7:13pm

    I went to the site...

    signed the petition and tweeted to my Congressman and my two Senators. I wondered if they will tweet back or send the usual form email.

    My actions may not do any good, but I had rather do something, anything rather than nothing at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2014 @ 7:29pm

    Re: I went to the site...

    Look at it this way, their responses will tell you one of two things, depending on what they say:

    1. They support the NSA, in which case they need to get the boot come next election. Make sure to tell them this.

    2. They do not support the NSA, in which case they need all the support and encouragement they can get. Like before, make sure to tell them this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 8:58pm

    They should circle the blimp around Rep. Mike Roger's house. I'm sure he'd get a kick out of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Agonistes, Jun 27th, 2014 @ 10:46pm

    I'm not totally behind Greenpeace, but I guess desperate times and all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 1:07am

    How long until the area over the center is designated as restricted airspace? I'm guessing it will be done by the end of next week.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 2:31am

    Re:

    Frankly I'm surprised it's not restricted. But since it isn't, I wonder if Greenpeace or someone else has enough funding for a camera-drone campaign? Watch the cars coming and going, throw in some image-recognition/processing and generate a public list of employees. After all, if the First Amendment is enough for ALPR manufacturers...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    TestPilotDummy, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    The 'Colors' of that blimp

    Is it just me?

    Or does that blimp scream out, "Norton Lambert Close-Up"

    Maybe just getting OLD....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 11:52am

    Re: Useful

    Yeah. We can vote out all the As and keep the Ds and Fs. Thanks a lot. Makes it easy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 28th, 2014 @ 12:20pm

    Were they blasting "99 Red Balloons" as they flew over?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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