Amazon wins contract to store ‘top secret’ Australian military intelligence

By Andrew Greene, ABC defence correspondent

American technology giant Amazon will establish a “top secret” data cloud to store classified Australian military and intelligence information under a A$2 billion (NZ$2.2bn) partnership with the federal government.

Three highly secure data centres will be built in secret locations across the country to support the purpose-built Top Secret (TS) Cloud which will be run by a local subsidiary of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The massive new project is expected to harness cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology and scheduled to be in operation by 2027, with the government insisting Australia will have complete sovereignty over the cloud.

Similar data clouds have already been established in the US and UK allowing the sharing of “vast amounts of information”, with intelligence figures highlighting that potential adversaries were also investing heavily in similar technology.

Initially, the government will invest at least A$2bn into the project being run by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and AWS, but it is expected to cost billions more in operating costs over the coming years.

Details of the massive project were first revealed in a speech to an American audience last year by the director-general of national intelligence Andrew Shearer, who emphasised the benefits it presented for collaboration for partner nations.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the project would create 2000 jobs and “bolster our defence and national intelligence community to ensure they can deliver world leading protection for our nation”.

“We face a range of complex and serious security challenges and I am incredibly proud of the work our national security agencies undertake on a daily basis to keep Australians safe,” Albanese said.

ASD director-general Rachel Noble said the project would provide a “state-of-the-art collaborative space for our intelligence and defence community to store and access top secret data”.

“For ASD, this capability is a vital part of our REDSPICE program which is lifting our intelligence and offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.”

AWS’ managing director in Australia, Iain Rouse, said his company was “uniquely positioned, as a trusted, long-term partner to the Australian government to deliver on this important partnership”.

“This critical national security initiative allows AWS to demonstrate our commitment to not just deliver a fixed set of requirements, but to continuously adapt, enhance and innovate together over the years to come.”


According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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