AWS stores US spy agency data in Secret Region


AWS announced a new "Secret Region" built specifically for US spy agencies yesterday.

The region can operate workloads up to the Secret US security classification level, the cloud giant said, and will serve 17 organisations including the CIA, the NSA and Homeland Security, which form the US Intelligence Community (IC).

AWS claimed that this region means it's the first cloud provider to offer regions for US government workloads across the full range of data classifications such as Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret and Top Secret.

It already offers protection for Top Secret-classified data though its Commercial Cloud Service (C2S) contract with the US Intelligence Community (IC), with the C2S Top Secret cloud reportedly kept offline and separate from AWS's other infrastructure.

John Edwards, CIO at the CIA, said of the new cloud region for Secret-classified data: "The AWS Secret Region is a key component of the intelligence community multi-fabric cloud strategy. It will have the same material impact on the intelligence community at the Secret level that C2S has had at Top Secret."

It's also available to non-IC US government customers who have Secret-level network access and their own contracts to use the region.

"The US Intelligence Community can now execute their missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission," said Teresa Carlson, VP of AWS's worldwide public sector.

She added: "The AWS Top Secret Region was launched three years ago as the first air-gapped commercial cloud and customers across the US Intelligence Community have made it a resounding success. Ultimately, this capability allows more agency collaboration, helps get critical information to decisio-makers faster, and enables an increase in our nation's security."

AWS addressed multiple data breaches resulting from unencrypted S3 buckets by adding basic protections to its storage service earlier this month.

Image source: Bigstock

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.