When most of us think about Amazon, the first thing that pops to mind is that goofy orange smiley icon that pops up on their merchandise retailing website and the fact that it started life as an online retailer of books. What we don’t think about is Amazon, the cloud computing behemoth and its links to the U.S. intelligence network. Thanks to a recent document dump called = by WikiLeaks, we now have a glimpse into the underbelly of Jeff Bezos’ world that gets almost no attention from anyone.
Let’s start with this:
Amazon Web Services or AWS states the following about itself:
Data centres are located in the following countries, regions and cities:
1.) United States – Northern Virginia, Seattle, California Bay Area, Northeastern Oregon
2.) Europe – Dublin, Luxembourg, Frankfurt
3.) China – Beijing, Ningxia
4.) Japan – Tokyo, Osaka
6.) Australia – Sydney
7.) Brazil – Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
Here is a sampling of the 20 page document which lists the locations and additional details including telephone numbers (which are not to be released to anyone outside of Amazon), addresses and shipping information and which comes with this warning:
“This information is not public and is classed as Highly Confidential!”
So much for that!
As you can see on this page, Amazon’s presence at 7060 and 7080 Wellington Road, Manassas, Virginia is known as “Vandalay Industries” (remember that from Seinfeld?):
While all of this may seem relatively mundane, one has to keep in mind that Amazon/Bezos has a connection to the U.S. government intelligence network. In 2013, Amazon signed a $600 million, ten year contract with the Central Intelligence Agency to develop a computing cloud service that would service all seventeen agencies that comprise the American intelligence community. In November 2017, Amazon Web Services made the following announcement:
Let’s close with this graphic from Synergy Research Group which shows the dominant position of Amazon in the Cloud provision business:
Amazon currently has a grip on 34 percent of the cloud market, bigger than the next four competitors (IBM, Google, Microsoft and Alibaba) combined. This along with its past U.S. government involvement gives it the influence to gain an even larger share of the federal government’s deepest and darkest secrets.
So, the next time you see this:
…think about Manadalay Industries (aka Amazon), located at 7060 and 7080 Wellington Road, Manassas, VA, 20109:
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