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Amazon scores high-profile CIA deal

by on20 March 2013

Cloud gets all snoopy

US spooks the CIA has given a cloud computing contract “worth up to $600 million over 10 years” to Amazon.

According to FCW, a federal IT blog, Amazon Web Services will help the intelligence agency build a private cloud network so that it can “keep up with emerging technologies like big data in a cost-effective manner not possible under the CIA's previous cloud efforts.”

It appears that the CIA's IT department has outlined efforts to promote "greater integration, information sharing, and information safeguarding through a common (intelligence community) IT approach that substantially reduces costs." In other words there are some changes coming to the way the CIA and other intelligence agencies share data, which is not something that has been mentioned publically yet. At the moment the spooks use isolated private clouds.

Recently CIA officials have mentioned Amazon as models for cost-effective data management. Industry experts speculated that such a deal could be significant in helping the CIA reduce budgets by outsourcing the project to an experienced company rather than designing cloud-computing infrastructure in-house.

Of course it also means all that spy data will be floating around on some Amazon cloud somewhere.

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