Amazon Received $600 Million CIA Computer Cloud Contract

CIA is going to pay Amazon to develop a spook computer cloud.

According to the website “Quartz,” “Amazon is staffing up for its $600 million cloud for spooks”:

You can now add “spymaster” to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s various titles. On Friday June 14, a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report elaborated on previous reports that Amazon had won a $600 million contract to build a “private cloud” for the CIA. (The GAO report was generated when IBM, which had been competing for the contract, protested that it had lost unfairly.)

More than half a billion dollars will buy you a lot of cloud computing, and now, according to postings on Amazon’s own jobs site, the company is staffing up to meet the demand the new contract will require. Specifically, Amazon is looking for engineers who already have a “Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearance, or are willing to go through the elaborate screening process required to get it. TS/SCI is the highest security clearance offered by the US government, and getting it requires having your background thoroughly vetted.

$600 million Amazon CIA contract does not portend well for the future of transparent coverage in the Washington Post under Bezos. 

Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post has a critical mass combination. And that’s not to mention the potential for combining intelligence surveillance, customer buying habits and marketing information, and news preferences.

It may also be mere coincidence that both the CIA and Amazon are both investing in a quantum computer company, D-Wave. But given the financial interlinking of media, corporations and government, one can argue that Amazon and the CIA have grown quite chummy when it comes to the bottom line.

 Bezos paid $250 million for the Washington Post (and some other of its affiliated properties); Amazon earlier this year (beating out IBM, who is still contesting the awarding of the CIA contract to Amazon) received a $600 million contract from the CIA (and holds other government IT contracts including possibly one with the NSA).


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