mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Amazon Cozies Up to the CIA

Amazon has reportedly signed a 10-year, $600 million deal to build a cloud computing network for the CIA. It’s not yet clear what the CIA intends to do with this network, but it is likely an effort by the agency to stay current and secure in a world of accelerating technological change. As data moves from hard drives to the cloud, important new security questions arise, particularly for an organization as secretive as the CIA. Foreign Policy reports:

Trade publication Federal Computer Week has reported that the [CIA] will pay the online retail pioneer up to $600 million to develop its own private cloud over the next decade.

Amazon is well-known for providing cloud-computing services to the private sector, and government agencies dealing with classified information are pushing to adopt cloud services as a way of consolidating thousands of network “enclaves” that are hard to defend.

Technology plays a growing role in national power. We’ve already seen how Silicon Valley is rediscovering the importance of American power for the success of its business models. This story is another window into a deepening world of collaboration between the high tech corporate sector and the US government.

This collaboration is going to grow. High-tech companies will look to the government for contracts, especially as defense and intel spending continue to shift up the tech curve, and as rival tech complexes lining up behind rival governments (as in China) pose simultaneous business and security challenges to American firms.

Far from making the nation-state obsolete, high-tech capitalism may be about to give states, and the competition between states, another major boost.

[Cloud computing image courtesy of Shutterstock.]

Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service