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On the vast prairies of Utah a giant computer centre is being built for the entity to which Obama has entrusted the control of Americaís cyber security, the National Security Agency

The NSA is notoriously the ultimate Big Brother, dedicated to spying on the activities and electronic activities of people in the US (and outside it), and last year Obama decided that the newly formed U.S. Cyber Command would operate under its direct control. Hence the recent announcement of the building activities underway for the creation of the biggest and most sophisticated military computer complex in the world.

The supercomputers of the extremely powerful organisation headed by General Keith Alexander will cover an area of one hectare inside an ultra-protected complex of some 10 hectares, and will go into operation in 2013 on the empty plains of Utah, about forty kilometres south of Salt Lake City, near the National Guard military base at Camp Williams.

The NSA has explained that the UTC Utah Data Centre will be an essential component in implementing the Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (the CNCI, launched by Bush in January 2008), together with the separate Cyber Command machinery site in Fort Meade, Maryland (where the NSA also has its base).

"America needs to defend its cyber space just as has to defend its actual territory", the Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has declared, continuing "The Data Centre is needed to defend the Pentagon's computers from the growing threat of computer attacks by hackers, and it will play a fundamental role in helping the Internal Security Department guarantee the security of government, financial and telecommunications computer systems."

The NSA/Cyber Command's new super-complex is bound to arouse further worries on the part of American Civil Rights and Civil Liberties associations, who believe that the ongoing militarisation of US cyber space serves as a screen for the government's desire to increase surveillance and control of its population.

In 2003 the US Congress blocked funding destined for the sinister Total Information Awareness programme, an Orwellian mass computer monitoring project initiated by Bush in the wake of the2001 11 September attacks through the Pentagon's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Officially shut down since then, the programme has been effectively continued in a clandestine manner by the NSA's department for Advanced Research and Development Activities.

Enrico Piovesana