Deal with cloud provider: Amazon to help British spies


Status: 10/26/2021 1:06 p.m.

According to a newspaper report, British secret services have hired Amazon to process confidential material. The goal is to use artificial intelligence increasingly for espionage.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a US provider of cloud computing, will work with British espionage agencies in the future, according to a newspaper report. As the “Financial Times” reported on its website, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis are to be used increasingly for espionage.

The British government agency GCHQ, which deals with cryptography, procedures for data transmission and telecommunications intelligence, had advocated the use of such a high-security cloud system. It is planned that all British secret services such as MI5 and MI6, but also other government agencies such as the Ministry of Defense, will use the cloud in the future.

Storage of data in Great Britain

The agreement is a first for the British security apparatus. GCHQ had already announced at the beginning of the year that it wanted to work more with AI in the future in order to uncover patterns in huge amounts of data worldwide and to expose disinformation.

The new cloud system is intended to enable British secret services to query the respective databases more quickly and to transmit information more easily. It is also planned that special applications will be used that can, for example, “track down” and translate certain voices from hours of eavesdropping. The data of the authorities are to be saved directly in Great Britain, wrote the “Financial Times”, citing people familiar with the talks. Amazon itself should therefore not have access to the stored information.

What is the cloud

The term cloud means the interaction of several server computers. These servers handle data storage or complicated program processes, for example. Users can access this via the Internet, mostly via programs on the accessing devices (“clients”) and the web browser.

No comments

The agreement was signed this year, as the “Financial Times” reported, citing people involved. No further details are known about the deal, which is valued at up to a billion pounds by industry experts.

When asked by Reuters news agency, GCHQ said it did not comment on any reports of its business relationships with technology providers.

Will sovereignty be lost?

The British decision to work with a US company in the future caused astonishment among experts: “Sovereignty is important and there is a reason why security technology has historically always been built and maintained in-house,” said a security veteran of the British newspaper . There were also plans to work with a British corporation, but it has shown that local companies are unable to offer either the scale or the skills they need, said two people familiar with the deal .

Amazon closes deal with British secret service

Nicholas Buschschlueter, HR, 10/26/2021 4:27 p.m.


www.tagesschau.de

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