2010-12-28 Dave Winer on Amazon and Apple contracts with US government

Dave Winer published an excerpt of a promotional email from Amazon today which he calls“the 800 pound gorilla in the room.” It sheds more light on Amazon’s officially
stated reason for denying service to Wikileaks.

“Government adoption of AWS grew significantly in 2010. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board became the first government-wide agency to migrate to a cloud-based environment when it moved Recovery.gov to AWS in March 2010. Today we have nearly 20 government agencies leveraging AWS, and the U.S. federal government continues to be one of our fastest growing customer segments. The U.S. General Services Administration awarded AWS the ability to provide government agencies with cloud services through the government’s cloud storefront, Apps.gov. Additional AWS customers include Treasury.gov, the Federal Register 2.0 at the National Archives, the openEI.org project at DoE’s National Renewable Energy Lab, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at USDA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA. The current AWS compliance framework covers FISMA, PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, SAS70 type II, and HIPAA, and we continue to seek certifications and accreditations that make it easier for government agencies to benefit from AWS.”

He also references a December 14 post in AppleInsider and points out that Apple banned a Wikileaks app from their store just one week after this article.

The U.S. Army is interested in giving each of its soldiers a smartphone, and may give them a choice between Apple’s iPhone or one running Google Android.

Army officials visited Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif., earlier this year to discuss the company’s forthcoming products. The organization has shown interest for some time in embracing Apple’s products, with officials in May noting that the “it just works” philosophy of the company caught the Army’s eye.

In 2008, it was revealed that the military had employed custom iPods for on-the-spot translating in Iraq. The new method offered soldiers the ability to translate with technology a fraction of the size and cost of the previously utilized technology.

The Army has also used Macs in its IT infrastructure to deter potential hacking attempts, and in 2009 implemented Apple hardware for video surveillance installations. The Mac hardware was selected, officials said, for security purposes.

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