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I just don't understand how the NSA can even have the technical capacity to store all of this data. If their total operating budget is a few billion dollars, that doesn't even really come close to buying enough disk to store what some claim they are storing (all network traffic, social data, images, emails, voice, etc).

Waze sold for 1.1 billion and you think the NSA operates on a few billion? Not even close. In 2010 intelligence gathering cost $80.1 billion.


Where are you getting that budget? Supposedly, the new Bluffdale facility alone will cost at least $2B. Do we have any way of knowing what their real budget is?


That money will likely be split over multiple years, if I'm remembering my Federal Acquisition Rules training correctly.

You'd imagine they'd be able to remove a good amount of it by removing duplicate data? e.g. video, audio and images

Haha, yeah I bet the kind of data they collect dedupes and compresses pretty well. They probably sometimes collect the same packet many times on its journey.

It's not a few billion dollars.

The best speculation I've seen on the matter is that the NSA's budget is between $12 and $15 billion, but that was several years ago, it might be much higher now with the emphasis being placed on all of these programs (with the NSA effectively being turned into a military asset).

We can extrapolate a floor on their budget by looking at the FBI and CIA, with it being publicly known that the NSA is far larger than both.

The FBI's 2014 budget request is for $8.4 billion, with 37,000 permanent employees. The NSA is thought to be at least two to three times larger than the FBI.

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