SOMETHING STRANGE is happening on a tiny Indian Reservation in Southern Arizona. First, a Cray Supercomputer is delivered, then a crew of government spooks gone-rogue from the National Security Agency arrive. Bodies start piling up, and one of them is a United States Congressman running an Oversight Committee on Privacy.
Usually, Ballistic Expert Michael Cole’s troubles arrive in the form of a female requesting his assistance. This time, Cole’s ex-wife asks for help investigating the reservation activities, which attracts the attention of more dangerous women. One of these is Sonia Tomei, Cole’s assistant intent on firming up their relationship. The other female is Claudia Dominga, a deadly international assassin intent on cutting the throat of everyone involved.
At stake are encrypted nuclear launch codes, a missing 1.7 billion dollars, and Cole’s frustrating experiment with celibacy. Something’s got to give.
Utah Data Center
From an article dated April 12, 2012.
Now under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency at Bluffdale, Utah. It is a project of immense secrecy, the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”
But it is more than just a data center. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to a top official involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US.