makeuseof discusses the NSA storing its data in Amazon’s cloud services but rightly asks if it is secure?

The agency began adopting centralised storage in 2010 in a bid to share information across the United States Intelligence Community (IC). Their clouding system of choice? Amazon Web Services, which links the 17 elements of the IC, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). As well as its increased capacity, the service boasts speed and cost-effectiveness.

Data is metatagged for accessibility and accountability: these detail personnel with access to said information, so their actions are all logged. This is paired with compliance regulations, so only those legally authorized to see material can do so.

The NSA’s current cloud consists of two systems: an internal one used by agency employees; and the GovCloud, available across the IC via the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. Essentially, in the latter, the NSA acts as a service provider to other IC sectors.

I had no idea the US IC is using AWS for data collaboration.