Federal Computer Week, a magazine that covers technology and the federal government, is reporting that Amazon has signed a contract with the CIA, agreeing to help the agency develop cloud computing technology over the next decade. While the magazine's anonymous sources confirmed the $600-million deal, Amazon, America's largest online book retailer, and the CIA both declined to confirm it.
"As a general rule, the CIA does not publicly disclose details of our contracts, the identities of our contractors, the contract values, or the scope of work," a CIA spokesperson told FCW.
If the details reported are true, it will be a game-changer for both the online retailer and the Central Intelligence Agency. Amazon Web Services will help the CIA to build a "private cloud," which means the computing technologies will be hosted at the CIA's own data center, allaying fears about the security of intelligence information online. The Amazon-built cloud will help the CIA keep up with emerging technologies. While these specifics are a bit confusing for the non-computer-literate, suffice it to say the deal is big news for both entities. There is a lot of competition in the business of cloud computing, and this deal, according to Business Insider, establishes Amazon as a major player.
The spooks are not likely to confirm the secret partnership any time soon -- they are trained not to, after all.