UK spy agencies sign cloud deal with Amazon Web Services
Image by Roberto Lee Cortes from Pixabay
Britain’s signals intelligence organization, GCHQ, and MI5 and MI6 will use Amazon Web Services to host classified material in a deal valued at £ 1bn (A $ 1.83bn ) over a decade.
The Financial Time, who cited four people familiar with the talks that led to the deal, noted concerns were likely to be raised about a single US company hosting such a huge percentage of the UK’s secret data.
FT’s story comes about a fortnight after AWS was approved as one of four cloud companies that can host Australian government data, despite connections to a Chinese-owned data center.
AWS has not disclosed its level of compliance or any commitments it has made to being among the first to achieve certification – despite being the only one of the four companies to have sent a media statement about the certification.
No mention was made of its hosting data at Global switch, a data center whose parent company is Aldersgate Investments, now controlled by a Chinese company.
The FT said UK data would be kept in the country and Amazon, the owner of AWS and a full-fledged online retail giant, would have no access to the data.
The volumes are now so large that the speed of search and retrieval is probably best handled by someone like AWS. pic.twitter.com/uEiUTafdo8
– Alan Woodward (@ProfWoodward) 25 October 2021
AWS already has a $ 600 million deal with the CIA, which was upgraded in 2020 to include Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM.
The report said GCHQ was keen to find a local cloud provider, but could not find one with the scale or capabilities needed.
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