The new AWS “Secret Region” will provide cloud services to U.S. intelligence agencies -- including the CIA -- at the “secret” security classification level. For inquiring minds, that is a step below the "top secret" designation. According to Amazon, the Secret Region will also be available to non-Intelligence Community entities within the U.S. government. However, they will have differing contracts for their access levels separate from the intelligence community's Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) contract with AWS.
“Today we mark an important milestone as we launch the AWS Secret Region,” said Teresa Carlson, VP for Amazon Web Services Worldwide Public Sector. “AWS now provides the U.S. Intelligence Community a commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret. The U.S. Intelligence Community can now execute their missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission."
This latest announcement from AWS is an outgrowth of a $600 million contract that Amazon signed with the U.S. government back in 2013. Under the agreement, AWS agreed to provide cloud computing services to the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies over a 10-year time period. The initial contract provided a “Top Secret Region” for the intelligence community.
Although the details and size of the contract were widely reported at the time, the CIA refused to confirm its existence, telling FCW in a statement, "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."
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