Amazon, Microsoft and Google to Build and Oversee US Military’s Cloud Computing Infrastructure
Amazon, Microsoft and Google to Build and Oversee US Military’s Cloud Computing Infrastructure: Amazon, Microsoft and Google are competing to secure a multi-billion-dollar Department of Defense contract to build and oversee the US military’s Cloud computing infrastructure, which will be used to control every aspect of the Pentagon’s global operations.
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project will transfer the large number of separate data control centers currently being run by the Pentagon into a centralized Cloud network that will be administered by one of the technology giants. The contract is reported to be worth up to $10 billion over the next decade. The winning bidder is expected to be announced in September.
The company that secures the contract will be completely integrated into all of the US military’s fighting operations.
The Cloud network will be required to hold data at all security classification levels, meaning security officials with top secret security clearances will be working at the facilities.
Bloomberg Government published images of the advertisements produced by Amazon and Microsoft on electronic billboards in the Pentagon railway station about how their companies’ technology could support the military in battle.
The JEDI program was first announced in September 2017, a month after Trump’s Defence Secretary James Mattis carried out a tour of Silicon Valley boardrooms. Mattis met with Google’s Founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai, as well as executives at Facebook and Amazon, to discuss further integrating their technologies into the US armed forces.
Microsoft’s ad featured an image of a special operations soldier and the caption, “The cloud gets actionable insight while the action is still unfolding.” An Amazon Web Services ad included the statement, “Time to launch: months minutes,” to underscore that the cloud infrastructure will help coordinate missile launches.
Google’s integration into the military’s operations has triggered widespread opposition among its employees. A letter published in April written to Google’s CEO Pichai and signed by more than 3,000 Google workers, demanded that the company cease its collaboration with the Pentagon.
Media reports indicate that the company most likely to secure the JEDI contract is Amazon. The company is considered to have an edge because it is already operating a Cloud network for the US intelligence agencies, under a $600 million contract reached in 2013.
Since September 2016, Amazon has been providing facial recognition technology called Rekognition to police forces and private intelligence contractors. Rekognition is able to process video footage from police body cameras, surveillance cameras and CCTV to “identify persons of interest against a collection of millions of faces in real-time, enabling timely and accurate crime prevention
The distinction between the technology corporations and the state has become almost entirely blurred as they become ever-more integrated into the military-intelligence apparatus. This takes place as Washington is working to outpace its major geo-strategic rivals, above all China and Russia, in the arena of advanced warfare technology and artificial intelligence, in preparation for a catastrophic war that would inevitably involve the use of nuclear weapons.
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