Shortly after Wired first profiled the NSA’s new super spycenter in Bluffdale, Utah (one year before Snowden confirmed that much of the agency’s activity involved spying on US citizens and soon to be presidents), speculation emerged as to how much data storage capacity this brand new US spy hub would have. According to a then-estimate by Forbes, the storage capacity at the Bluffdale facility was between 3 and 12 exabytes ( 1 exabyte is 1 billion gigabytes) based on analysis of unclassified blueprints, although some had vastly greater estimates ranging from yottabytes (in Wired) to 5 zettabytes (on NPR), a.k.a. words that most probably can’t pronounce but translate to ‘a lot.‘
And, in retrospect, it appears to not have been enough, because on Monday, Amazon Web Services announced it was now offering a commercial cloud service to the US Intelligence Community (i.e. spies on both foreign targets and US presidential campaigns) called, directly enough “Secret Region” that can operate workloads up to the Secret U. S. security classification level.
‘Today we mark an important milestone as we launch the AWS Secret Region,’ said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Public Sector. ‘AWS now provides the U. S. Intelligence Community a commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret. The U. S. Intelligence Community can now execute their missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission. The AWS Top Secret Region was launched three years ago as the first air-gapped commercial cloud and customers across the U. S. Intelligence Community have made it a resounding success. Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decision makers faster, and enables an increase in our Nation’s Security.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.