The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has for the last several months been considering private sector bids to provide the DoDs club backup computing services.
It’s a big deal. Upwards of $10 billion for ten years’ worth of backup server service.
Ok – it’s a huge deal.
We have highlighted a great many red flags during the DoD bidding process.
Recent news re-highlights one red flag in particular – the DoDs awful seeming intention to hand the entire gig to but one company:
“(Y)ou want multiple providers – each offering overlapping portions of the Defense Department’s very many needs. Again, for a variety of reasons.
“One reason: You have multiple providers constantly competing with each other – to constantly provide the best possible service. No complacency there.
“And then there are the national security implications.
“If you have but one provider – and it suffers a service interruption – the entire Defense Department suffers service interruption.
“And for our military men and women serving in some really bad areas around the globe – service interruptions can and will be deadly.
“The Defense Department should build-in to their cloud computing what they build-in to just about everything else they do – multiple redundancies.
“Defense should have at least two providers providing each portion of the cloud service – so that if one crashes, you have at least one at-the-ready backup.
“So, say, at a bare minimum: Five providers – each providing 40% of the necessary services.
“For government school victims – that makes 200%. Which means two providers each are providing every part of the total cloud service.
“Backup. Fail-safe. Redundancy.
“Not one provider – all by its onesies, providing all of the service.”
Speaking of national security implications….
“Tech providers vying for a $10 billion Defense Department cloud-computing contract may come under added pressure to prove their systems are secure after a report that China sneaked spy chips onto servers used by U.S. companies including Amazon.com Inc., a top contender for the Pentagon award.”
Well that’s not good. Communist China…doesn’t have our best interests at heart.
Especially un-good – considering Amazon is considered to be in the exclusive lead for the exclusive DoD cloud gig.
Amazon and others deny the hack took place.
Of course they would – for both security and crass commercial reasons. No one looking for a giant gig like this – wants this on their resume.
Communist China hacks and spies – it’s what they do. When they aren’t looking to get our data – they are looking to hack us and take down our data so we can’t get it.
Which is why you wouldn’t want this on your resume either.
And here’s the thing: Amazon does a LOT of business with and in China.
And it ain’t just Amazon retail. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the subsidiary bidding for the DoD gig – and they are filled to the rafters with China.
What’s Going on With Amazon Web Services in China?: “In spite of regulatory burdens, Amazon is doubling down in China.”
So it is…not out of the realm of possibility China may do something nefarious to Amazon.
Like, say, emplace spy chips somewhere upon Amazon’s digital person.
Like, say, hack the living daylight out of Amazon and take down their servers.
Any and all of which would be very, VERY bad – were Amazon at the time providing the Defense Department’s cloud backup computing services.
I have long thought anyone doing any business with Communist China is short-term cheap and long-term stupid.
I think in the days and years to come – that will be a realization more and more of us make.
In the here and now: I do not think it is too much to ask that we not hand a massive monopoly contract to handle ALL of our military’s oft-very-sensitive data – to a company that is SO enmeshed and intertwined with awful, hacking, spying Communist China.
Just a thought.
This first appeared in Red State.