Cloud Computing

Government claims CIA cloud case injunction would threaten national security

cloud security

The CIA clearly doesn't want to wait any longer for work to begin on the $600 million cloud infrastructure it has tapped Amazon Web Services to build.

Justice Department attorneys, responding to a motion for injunction filed Oct. 10 by IBM after a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge overturned a previous bid protest decision that went Big Blue's way, provided notice to the court that it had filed classified documents detailing the "harm to the United States" an injunction would cause.

"These documents detail the harm to the United States of an injunction, the current state of the agency's information technology requirements, and the significant challenges that further delay to the procurement at issue would present to the agency," the notice states.

The CIA has been trying for nearly two years to procure a commercially developed cloud infrastructure for the intelligence community.

It pulled the procurement once in August 2012, taking corrective action after Microsoft and AT&T protested the agency's bid solicitation. IBM later protested the CIA's award to AWS, which FCW first reported on in March, and a series of legal maneuvers ensued. IBM has said it plans to appeal the Court of Claims ruling that overturned the bid protest decision.

Meanwhile, the intelligence community has rolled out its own internal cloud computing infrastructure based on the NSA's cloud model. It currently provides data hosting and storage, utility storage and analytics for the all agencies within the IC, though the cloud project currently being battled over in court is expected to greatly enhance the IC's capabilities.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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