NSA Data Center photo set free for all to use

071014blog eff nsa utah data center
(Photo courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation yesterday released a copyright-free photograph of the NSA’s sprawling Utah Data Center (above) that was captured from a Greenpeace airship June 27 during a protest of the government’s mass surveillance program.

The gesture is intended to help journalists, among others, illustrate news stories and blog posts about a secretive operation that can be otherwise difficult to illustrate.

It’s also clearly a poke in the NSA’s spying eye.

From an EFF press release:

Today, continuing in the spirit of transparency and building on earlier efforts to shed some light on the physical spaces the US intelligence community has constructed, we're releasing a photograph of the Utah Data Center into the public domain, completely free of copyright and other restrictions. That means it can be used for any purpose—copied, edited, or even sold—online or in print, with or without attribution to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We hope that making such an image available will help support conversations about the actions of the NSA.

This picture makes clear the scope and scale of the NSA's facilities—necessary because of the agency's "collect it all" posture and misguided dedication to creating ever-larger haystacks in pursuit of needles. Alongside our other efforts to bring accountability to massive NSA spying, hopefully this image can help make the infrastructure of that spying more tangible to the public.

You can expect to see that photo a lot … and everywhere.

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