back to article Australia to build Top Secret cloud in AWS for military and spooky users

Australia's government has announced its intention to build a Top Secret-rated cloud, with help from Amazon Web Services. A government announcement states the cloud will be built in partnership with the Australian Signals Directorate – an agency responsible for foreign signals intelligence and cyber security. The so-called TS …

  1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Surely its just easier and cheaper to host everything in house, theres no way that could cost $2B over 10 years.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Maybe Not

      "Surely its just easier and cheaper to host everything in house...

      The problem with hosting "in house" is that results in information being in the wrong place (e.g. Canberra or Sydney) when it's needed somewhere else (Darwin or Broome or maybe on a warship in the Indian Ocean. Or vice versa. And it won't get to where it's needed unless someone where it is knows where it's needed. And actually sends it.

      On the other hand, there are problems with a "cloud". For one thing, it will likely be used for routine as well as critical stuff. Which means that it's a single point of failure for much of your operation. If your communications are hosed for one reason or another, your operation is crippled. Example -- many auto dealerships in the US have been severely impacted by a recent ransomware attack. Last month it was prescription drug dispensaries. Another problem is that if a foreign power manages to crack your encryption, all your data belongs to them.

      Given the current state of digital communications security, and the rather sorry history of challenging IT projects, I suspect this is not a that great an idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe Not

        I suspect there will be special facilities for in theater use, otherwise the first idiot with a jammer would stop operations.

        Surely someone will have thought of that, given that they have already been surprisingly smart enough about this to avoid Microsoft for this..

    2. amajadedcynicaloldfart


      But if they host it in-house when it gets "hacked" they would have no one else to blame but themselves when it does get "hacked". This way they can put the blame on everyone else and their dog.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        True, but they could still hire contractors for the in house "cloud".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > easier and cheaper in house

      Nor easier, no cheaper, because of specialization. Military has other priorities.

      Besides talent is rare and volatile. Big cloud is really focused and competes fervently, exactly because Cloud is one of the best business models.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Confection for Infections and Injections Effective for Cancerous Growth

    Australia to build Top Secret Cloud in AWS for military and spooky users .... Interoperability with US infrastructure a big selling point

    That will be handy for exfiltrating and repurposing deep and dark secrets to stealthily fcuk up any AWEsomely big selling point operating system remotely from within.

  3. Sora2566 Bronze badge

    I'd be a lot more keen on this project if I didn't know it was being built by Amazon.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "to securely host our country's most sensitive information"

    In the cloud. On someone else's server. Server that is managed by a group of barely-paid administrators fresh out of college.

    I'm sure nation-state-backed hackers everywhere are looking forward to finding out what is in that cloud.

    And they'll find out.

    1. m4r35n357 Silver badge

      Re: "to securely host our country's most sensitive information"

      Obviously it will consist of huge quantities of carefully-crafted disinformation, unless they are complete idiots ;)

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: "to securely host our country's most sensitive information"

        They are complete idiots, and will put real information there.

  5. NapTime ForTruth



    Australia to build Top Leaky cloud in AWS for military and spooky losers.

    (That last term in the sense of losing data, control, privacy, access, secrecy, possibly your beloved pets, and the next world war, obvs.)

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Edit

      The FiveEyes already share info, theres no need for a "new" system.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Edit

        Suspect the “interoperability” is just a euphemism for shared platform, ie. All data is in the same DBMS the view just restricts what any one entity can access….

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: Edit

          That will never happen, everybody will create many databases, many times wiht the same entities but with slightly different schemas.

  6. Bendacious Bronze badge

    CLOUD act

    As Amazon is a US company they are subject to the CLOUD act, allowing the US government to have access to anything hosted on an Amazon server, anywhere in the world. I'm not having a pop at the US, I'm sure every government has their own version of the CLOUD act, although mostly not written down and spoken about publicly. It is however a great reason not to store non-US secrets on Amazon servers. Maybe this project is only for the 90% of Australian secrets that they have already shared with five eyes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > US government to have access

      US is busy making money, or debating definitions of a woman. US government having access is likely the least of concerns. There are other, seriously harmful adversaries to worry about.

      Besides, by looking how incompetent the US is in relation to disinformation wars, again, potentially sharing secrets with allies is not big deal. What if US government is not interested at all?

  7. VerySlowData


    Surely Albo and Co could have a TSOzCloud built here...if we are going to keep all our classified stuff on computers, I would rather they were built, owned and run right here in the wide brown land..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese say “hold my Tsingtao“

    …..and, already cracked!

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