NSA's Accumulo Data Store Has Strict Limits On Who Can See The Data

Joab Jackson | PCWorld | October 31, 2013

With its much-discussed enthusiasm for collecting large amounts of data, the NSA naturally found much interest in the idea of highly scalable NoSQL databases.

But the U.S. intelligence agency needed some security of its own, so it developed a NoSQL data store called Accumulo, with built-in policy enforcement mechanisms that strictly limit who can see its data.

At the O’Reilly Strata-Hadoop World conference this week in New York, one of the former National Security Agency developers behind the software, Adam Fuchs, explained how Accumulo works and how it could be used in fields other than intelligence gathering. The agency contributed the software’s source code to the Apache Software Foundation in 2011.

“Every single application that we built at the NSA has some concept of multi-level security,” said Fuchs, who is now the chief technology officer of Sqrrl, which offers a commercial edition of the software.