back to article Uncle Sam █████████ cloud so much, AWS █████████ it another kinda-secret data center

Amazon Web Services says it will launch a second dedicated cloud compute facility for the US government early next year. The more profitable part of Amazon's empire said the facility will serve government agencies and the contractors who work with them as a US East regional instance. It will go live in 2018 and, like its …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Too much information

    I think you forgot to redact about 50% of the article. You are leaking information. You will be visited soon. Please sit down and take it easy, we'll be there soon to rectify the situation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too much information

      First rule: If you want to analyse data, you build the datacentre right next to the source of the data you want to analyse.

      You'd think Uncle Sam had enough spare capacity in Facebook's "second datacentre" in Lulea, Sweden. It's always best to hide datacentres in plain sight, to avoid suspicion. ;)

    2. Christoph

      Re: Too much information

      They didn't redact the heading properly - I wasn't able to read the redacted text by highlighting it. The proper way to do redaction is to make it trivially readable just like everybody else does.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uncle Sam likes to do impressions of a cloud so much, AWS was soo impressed with his cumulus it built it another kinda-secret data center.

    New Facility in Trump Towers to open up next year.

    Did I get it right?

  3. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Lame redaction

    I mean, just copy-pasting reveals the text, how lamer can you possibly get*?

    More seriously, it does raise concerns. The AWS space will probably only be used only for the most mundane content, or for deliberate misinformation, and Amazon is probably only advertising this after a comprehensive review with Governments around the globe are notoriously shy about using third-party IT solutions, especially when it comes to data. And rightly so. So this is either an attempt to lure foreign govs into giving away their sensitive data to the US (because what more proof could you possibly need that Amazon is cuddly with, or a lure for particularly stupid "nation-state" hackers (either as a way to spread misinformation, or as a way to identify wannabe spooks at little risk).

    Or all of the above, of course.

    *besides trying that based on a random comment, that is

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Lame redaction

      "Governments around the globe are notoriously shy about using third-party IT solutions"

      I can't imagine why that's the case, after all the success the UK government has had with Capita.

  4. Herby

    The exact location will not be released, for security reasons.

    So we wait until Google Earth picks it up. Wait for the blur.

    Then again, probably not much of a joke...

  5. Rusty 1

    Got one already, want another...

    So couldn't they just pitch for bringing it all onsite, and with a slightly modified layout, go for the Heptagon. That'll worry those nasty evil for'n sandal wearing beardies, and, to boot, give an additional 20.5757... degrees of furniture capacity in each of the outside corners. What's not to like!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like its counterpart on the west coast, the exact location will not be released, for security reasons.

    It'll be just outside Covfefe - just you wait and see ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cleean Coal, Cleean Coal.

      And run on Cleeean Coal, really Cleeean Coal.

  7. Stevie Silver badge


    Just as long as my bandwidth for "Expanse" on Amazon Prime isn't scavenged for Drone Mission 12A73-551 I don't care.

    It has been obvious that the US govt had a "special relationship" with Amazon since my tax rebates started being offered as Amazon gift cards. This is true, by the way, not a joke.

  8. Captain Obvious

    Stupid is as stupid does

    So now one place to get all of the government data. I am sure China, NK, Russia, Israel, Germany, etc are salivating at this prospect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid is as stupid does

      "So now one place to get all of the government data"

      Nah, this is just Amazon playing catch-up with Microsoft - who are well ahead in the government cloud side of things:

  9. Kev99

    And remember, a cloud is just a bunch of holes held together by vapor. If the idiots in Washington were even minusculy concerned about security they'd require all contractors to use dedicated lines as used to be the case.

  10. joed

    it does not compute

    How is it that Amazon can make profit on service that supposedly saved uncle Sam money (at the scale .gov operated). Or maybe it's paid with tax breaks that taxpayers would offset. Somehow all this mixing of public and private enterprises smells like corruption (no matter what "lobbyists" claimed).

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: it does not compute

      Don't forget the [cough-cough] generous campaign contributions (tax deductable) to the key people on Capital Hill/Penn Ave.

  11. Schultz Silver badge

    Actually a good development

    When you create such infrastructure within a government department, you get a lot of bureaucracy with it. I wouldn't claim that the Amazon solution is necessarily cheaper, but if you want to get rid of it again, you have less bureaucratic inertia.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As usual - Inane comments just because they can

    Does anyone worry that we outsource critical functions because our representatives refuse to finance effective data and cloud infrastructure and its support?. No wonder the DOD is dragging their feet. They might have a clue to the reality of the situation.

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    You'll note wherever it is it will be inside US borders

    Because putting your governments business on servers outside your jurisdiction would be stupid, even if the price was better.

    Would people feel the USG was more clueful if they called it a "server consolidation" or better yet a "data centre consolidation" to a single data centre (with backup) offering (presumably) high security and high availability as (shared) services?

    Same thing. Different language.

    Remember though that in a bureaucracy

    in house "data center" --> staff and budget --> increased responsibility --> increased power.

    external data centre --> loss of staff & budget --> responsibility for migration--> loss of power at the end, since client departments won't have the power to hire and fire AWS.

  14. Phil Kingston

    "many agencies – particularly in the defense sector – are taking heat for being slow to adopt their prescribed IT reforms"

    To be fair, I can't see many IT managers and staff (especially in govt sector) falling over themselves to move the data and systems they manage into AWS and hence make themselves redundant.

  15. P. Lee
    Big Brother

    cp -r AWS SAM


    # _

  16. Wolfclaw

    So look for a nice shiny new building, slurping lots of juice on the eats coast, protected by well armed peeps in black tactical clothing.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "So look for a nice shiny new building, slurping lots of juice"


    Or then again a large new building marked "Internal Revenue Service Historical Archive" perhaps?

  18. DerekCurrie

    Hopeless Endeavor: Security hardening all government IT systems.

    Such is bureaucracy, such is government, that unifying around any one issue is simply impossible. Expect a fragmented mess. Also expect built-in abuse of those IT systems. Psychopathic politicians wouldn't have it any other way.

    Some fun examples:

    A) How many DECADES has the US IRS been attempting to modernize, simplify, unify their computer systems? I personally was able to witness one failed attempt from circa 1988. The FAIL goes on.

    B) In 2015, the US IRS was hacked, divulging the details of over 100,000 taxpayers.

    C) In 2015, the complete and thorough hacking by China of the USA Office of Personnel Management. Data stolen included names, addresses, IDs, Social Security numbers, fingerprints and photographs of everyone from mail room clerks to CIA spies. It was the ultimate US government IT security FAIL.

    D) The outrageously out-of-date computer systems that science-oriented organizations within US and state governments are forced to use. Don't faint when you realize that some of them are still suck using DOS. Not kidding. Those 8-inch floppy drives at US missile defense installations? They're still being used.

    E) US President, The Trump, initiated an IT security review during his first month in office. It immediately died and has not been heard of since.

    F) Read this: "Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems" from 6/2016:

    There's a point when cynicism because wisdom when dealing with large human organizations.

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