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HomeCyber SecurityAWS Wins Australia's Top Secret Cloud

AWS Wins Australia’s Top Secret Cloud

Amazon Web Services has won a contract worth around $A2 billion over 10 years to build ‘Top Secret Cloud’ for Australia’s defence department and 10 security agencies.

AWS Wins Australia’s Top Secret Cloud Contract For Defence And Intelligence Agencies.

AWS Wins Australia’s Top Secret Cloud – Amazon Web Services has won a contract worth around $A2 billion over 10 years to build ‘Top Secret Cloud’ for Australia’s defence department and 10 security agencies.

The contracts will be made through the Australian Signals Directorate and are considered part of ASD’s REDSPICE cyber program, with funding from Defence’s recently bolstered $A36 billion cyber and technology budget.

The service will host Australia’s most secret data and is slated to come online in 2027. The dedicated facilities will be built in undisclosed locations and will operate alongside the government’s other Top Secret data centres.

“This capability, in terms of computing infrastructure, will ensure that Australia maintains at pace with the leading Defence forces around the world,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said.

“It will ensure that Australia maintains and indeed increases its interoperability with our alliance partner, the United States. It will ensure that we have a far more resilient, capable, lethal, modern and potent Defence force for the future.”

There’s a natural level of opacity around management and ownership of the proposed facilities. AWS has directed questions it would own the data centres to the Australian Defence Department, which may provide an oblique answer, given Defence’s titanic cyber security budget.

AWS is certified to the highest level of Australia’s data sovereignty scheme and won the contract after Microsoft suddenly and unexpectedly stepped away from well advanced negotiations in 2022, a move which may have been precipitated by its close relationship with U.S. defence and intelligence establishments.

The Australian federal government insisted on a fully sovereign cloud solution with no data subject to U.S. laws that might force AWS to hand information over to American authorities.

Australian Signals Directorate Director-General Rachel Noble said recently that decisions had not been taken on what data will go to the Top Secret Cloud and what will be kept in Commonwealth controlled data centres.

But Noble confirmed data in the Top Secret Cloud would not be subject to the US Cloud act, which allows American authorities to compel technology companies to provide data even when it’s stored in foreign countries.

“No, it’s handled separately,” Noble said, “These cloud centres will run under Australian law.”

You can find out more about Top Secret Cloud here or read more SEN news here.

“AWS Wins Australia’s Top Secret Cloud Contract For Defence And Intelligence Agencies.”

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