Amazon Opens Service for Spies

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) means to help U.S. government intelligence agencies keep their secrets secret. Its Amazon Web Services has released a new service intended to ward off hacks that could expose confidential information.

According to the e-commerce and cloud company:

We are pleased to announce the new AWS Secret Region. The AWS Secret Region can operate workloads up to the Secret U.S. security classification level. The AWS Secret Region is readily available to the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) through the IC’s Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) contract with AWS. The AWS Secret Region also will be available to non-IC U.S. Government customers with appropriate Secret-level network access and their own contract vehicles for use of the AWS Secret Region. These contract vehicles will not be part of the IC’s C2S contract.

With the launch of this new Secret Region, AWS becomes the first and only commercial cloud provider to offer regions to serve government workloads across the full range of data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret. By using the cloud, the U.S. Government is better able to deliver necessary information and data to mission stakeholders.

There is, of course, no reason to believe that the new service is “hack-proof.” Skilled hackers, working for themselves or foreign governments, have been able to breach security systems at both the federal government level and at large corporations. Even the National Security Agency has been hacked. By some accounts, the agency has been hacked at least four times in as many years.

Amazon is probably the world’s largest cloud company. It needs to keep an edge over smaller rivals led by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL). The global revenue from cloud services is well into the billions of dollars and growing quickly.

Whether AWS Secret Region can help Amazon’s competitive advantages will be based to a large extent on whether it is hacked.