The German President, Joachim Gauck, concluded in a recent interview, that the NSA was not to be compared with the Stasi, because, [paraphrasing] “it is not like it was with the Stasi, where there exist big filing cabinets in which all our conversations are written down.” No, indeed, nothing like that. As OpenDataCity notes, at the NSA, conversation contents are neither written down nor filed – but digitally recorded, saved and can be searched and found within seconds.
In contrast to the Stasi, the NSA can count on new technologies and can therefore collect information in gigantic quantities.
To get the picture, OpenDataCity compared the data volume in this little app:
<a href=”http://apps.opendatacity.de/stasi-vs-nsa/frame_en.html” _mce_href=”http://apps.opendatacity.de/stasi-vs-nsa/frame_en.html“>Stasi versus NSA – How much space would the filing cabinets use up?</a>
Link: Stasi versus NSA. Made by OpenDataCity (CC-BY 3.0)
According to a report by the NPR, the data center of the NSA in Utah will be capable of saving 5 Zettabytes (5 billion Terabyte). Assuming that a filing cabinet with 60 files (30.000 pages of paper) uses up 0,4 m², which would correspond to 120 MB of data, the printed out Utah data center would use up 17 million square kilometers.
Thereby the NSA can capture 1 billion times more data than the Stasi!