NSA Downplays Electrical Surges At Utah Data Center


The National Security Agency assured Congress that the electrical problems at its massive data center in Utah were not as crippling as the Wall Street Journal depicted them earlier this week, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported Thursday. 

“Our current assessment is this issue will be fully resolved, mission systems will be installed on schedule, and the project will remain within budget,” the NSA wrote in a letter to congressional intelligence committees, according to a summary obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune.

The WSJ reported that electrical surges, described as “a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box,” halted computer use in the one million square-foot facility 10 times in the past 13 months, and had destroyed expensive equipment.

The NSA letter rebuffed that account, saying the electrical problems were discovered during routine testing and were contained to circuit breaker boxes, so no computers were damaged.


Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.