VIDEO: Blimp flies over NSA’s Utah Data Center to protest ‘illegal mass surveillance program’

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BLUFFDALE, Utah -- A group of activists from a coalition of environmental, privacy and anti-spying organizations flew a blimp over the NSA's massive Utah Data Center in protest over allegations of domestic spying.

"It's not often that you can get -- literally -- over the NSA," Parker Higgins, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told FOX 13 on Friday.

The EFF, Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center used the green blimp, which had the words "NSA, Illegal Spying Below" with an arrow pointing down.

Utah Airship Flight"NSA surveillance impacts a lot of us, but it's hard to feel the physical impact of it," said Higgins. "When you see the sprawling, scary data center, it really drives home that this agency is really doing something physical and real that affects Americans and non-Americans' lives."

The FAA and the Utah National Guard told FOX 13 the flight over the Utah Data Center was legal.

"Camp Williams only restricts the airspace when we're under operations with live fire cannon operations or small fire operations," said Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn.

The protest groups said they took steps to make sure their flyover was legal, even bringing the blimp down by 7 a.m. to ensure it did not interfere with other air traffic.

The event was certainly noticed by commuters.

The NSA did not immediately return a request for comment on the demonstration.

The action is part of a larger campaign the groups have to increase pressure on the NSA over domestic surveillance. Privacy rights groups have called for power and water to be cut off to the Utah Data Center.

In May, FOX 13 published the Utah Data Center's water bill, which suggested the facility may not be fully operational.

Some Utah lawmakers have also renewed plans for legislation to cut off material support for the NSA data center.

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  • Kyle

    Want to be really effective? Tear up a whole bunch of aluminum foil into tiny strips and drop “chaff” over their microwave antennas.

  • Strider

    Not that I disagree with their sentiments, but what does this have to do with Greenpeace? Seems like mission creep to me.

  • Ryan

    The third sentence, and also tird paragraph of has a mis-quote. It says…
    “The EFF, Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center used the green blimp, which had the words “NSA, Illegal Spying Here” with an arrow pointing down.”

    In the piphoto you can clearly see the sign on teh blimps says “NSA illegal spying below”

    I’m not sure how you mess that up without being a total retard…

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