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NSA Awards Secret $10 Billion Cloud Contract to Amazon, Microsoft Complains

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It turns out that the National Security Agency (NSA), the intelligence branch of the US government dedicated to managing the country's surveillance apparatus, awarded a secret cloud contract to Amazon Web Services (AWS) that was worth as much as $10 billion.

According to the findings by Nextgov, the NSA has been in secret talks with the world's largest cloud provider - AWS. Amazon's cloud computing branch is the company's most profitable business unit, accounting for a huge amount of revenue flowing through each quarter. That phenomenal growth is now backed by the new NSA contract that is worth $10 billion.

The contract is codenamed WildandStormy, and it includes efforts to keep NSA's most valuable intelligence data in the cloud. As NSA's classified data is spread out among multiple locations, the goal of the contract is to create a single repository for on-demand access that can ease the analytics process.

However, the contract is not going smoothly. The US government agencies have a budget to develop contracts with multiple cloud providers. Since it didn't win the contract, Microsoft has decided to file a protesting bid to the Government Accountability Office (GAP). 

In July, US government officials announced that they are ending the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract due to many appeals from Microsoft. AWS won the contract, and Microsoft has complained multiple times, canceling the contract at the end due to legal disputes between the cloud providers and the government.

With AWS winning this multi-billion-dollar contract, Microsoft's complaints to the GAO could possibly delay the contract once again. As soon as Microsoft's Redmond HQ got the news about AWS winning the contract, the company filled the GAO complaint. On July 26th, the GAO received the complaint, but it hasn't issued a verdict yet. In the meantime, the WildandStormy contract could face delays as the contractors await the final decision.