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CIA To Utilize Amazon Web Services For Spy Software Accessibility

Amazon's AWS Marketplace has already positioned itself as leading hub for services such as big data analytics, customer relationship management, networking, data security, troubleshooting and more, but its new path will bring them into direct contact with some of the most valuable and secretive reaches of the U.S. government. According to the latest announcement, Amazon has recently secured a contract worth $600 million with the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA for short.

While the intelligence community has already been using Amazon Web Services to host their own, private cloud, referred to as the IC Cloud, since 2014, the newest announcement adds increased functionality and accessibility in the way of a commercial software marketplace meant specifically for the marketing and purchasing of governmental and agency-related software. Such software includes applications related to data forensics, data collection and more. In fact, some of the software packages to be included in the IC Cloud Marketplace are already available for public usage via AWS' existing Marketplace.

Doug Wolfe, chief information officer with the CIA, spoke candidly about the need for such functionality on a classified, governmental scale. He was quoted as saying: " Frequently, we have people come to us in terms of looking at the IT world and say, 'Why can't I do X?’ or 'I saw X in Marketplace, but when I come on the classified side, I'm unable to bring that innovation over. The goal is to bring that innovation over at a pace that is tremendously faster and much more responsive than we have in the past."

Another source from the CIA, who chose to remain anonymous, was also quoted as saying: "We are posturing the IC for the best chance of success in terms of providing the most relevant IT solutions. We have an enormous mission-driven demand for innovation and a bureaucratic superstructure that doesn’t allow it. C2S is about knocking down barriers with innovation and agility. It gives us choices."

The IC Cloud Marketplace is also expected to lower costs, as governmental agencies will now have the opportunity to review various applications, review software costs and licensing fees and, in some cases, use a free trial before committing to a costly purchase. After completing a purchase from the IC Cloud Marketplace, users will then have the opportunity to leave feedback about the seller and the product - a useful and insightful feature that has been used on Amazon's retail site since its inception.

Amazon's new IC Cloud Marketplace is expected to launch in late 2015 or early 2016, and it is expected to have a tremendous impact on the way governmental agencies purchase software and locate third-party IT services.

Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector with Amazon Web Services, also spoke about the newly announced IC Marketplace. She was quoted as saying: "The AWS Marketplace for the IC is transformative in that it makes innovative, commercial-grade software products available to government agencies with significantly less overhead cost, process and contractual negotiations. The AWS Marketplace for the IC brings simplicity, convenience, transparency and speed to both vendors and buyers."


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