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Halikias: How the Pentagon’s $5 billion Amazon cloud deal undermines our cybersecurity

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Nearly a year into Donald J. Trump’s presidency, Obama-era appointees still occupy top Pentagon and State Department positions.

Dozens of these Obama holdovers, bent on undermining the work of the Trump administration, put forward suggestions that could have disastrous results.

Their most recent proposal – the idea to offer Amazon an exclusive $5 billion contract to act as the Department of Defense’s single cloud solution provider – would yoke the Pentagon to the tech giant–a decision that would decrease American competitiveness and could compromise our national cybersecurity.

Trending: ANTIFA-Linked Washington Women, Former Democrat Organizer Charged With Terrorist Attack in Train Derailment Plot

The Pentagon’s Cloud Executive Steering Group published a Request for Information, asking for industry advice on how to best acquire a modern enterprise cloud services solution that can support unclassified, secret and top secret information.

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The RFI reveals the DoD plans to acquire a single cloud service provider for all cloud computing infrastructure and platform services.

That’s a terrible idea.

Firstly, using one sole cloud services provider would decrease our rate of technological adaptation and innovation. With no challengers, Amazon would have little incentive to create novelty systems or even to improve marginally upon existing infrastructure.

In other words, the Department of Defense would lose any ability to negotiate with Amazon after granting it an exclusive $5 billion contract – a deal that would almost certainly be the most lucrative IT procurement in the history of the world. Naturally, this single-provider approach would put the United States at a technological disadvantage.

By contrast, with a traditional, multiple-reward indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity approach, the Pentagon would be able to attract more creative and diverse solutions from the commercial market. In this way, the Department of Defense’s multiple cloud service providers would be able to compete with one another to create more effective cybersecurity and data systems.

The CESG’s proposal should further worry Americans, as China has purchased Amazon’s cloud assets for $300 million. Earlier this year, Amazon capitulated to the Chinese government’s demand that customers comply with state censorship policies. The tech company has thus demonstrated that it is willing to compromise its standards in order to maintain a business relationship with the communist regime.

It is well known that the Chinese government is willing to hack American cybersecurity systems. In recent years, the U.S. government and private U.S. companies have identified dozens of instances of Chinese cyber espionage. By tying ourselves to a single cloud service provider with a record of submitting to the Chinese government, we would only make it easier for China to hack into the Department of Defense’s cyber systems.

In response to the Pentagon’s RFI, the Coalition for Government Procurement, a non-profit association of commercial contractors, put out a statement advising the DoD to consider multiple cloud solution providers “in the interest of our national security and to incentivize cloud innovation moving forward.”

If the idea is so bad, then where does it come from?

It should be no surprise that Obama acolytes would make such an inadvisable proposal. Many of these holdovers have personal business ties to the very tech areas on which they advise the Department of Defense – relationships that often constitute conflicts of interest.

This deal would the CESG’s proposal compromise the efficiency of our cybersecurity, hamstringing the Pentagon, but it would also put $5 billion dollars in the hands of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos – a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter. That is to say, the sole beneficiary of this contract has political motivation to undercut the United States government.

When assessing governmental proposals – even those that come from an executive branch department – defenders of national security must remain vigilant.

Amalia Halikias is a writer who covers issues of U.S. politics, cultural conservatism, law and technology.

ANTIFA

ANTIFA-Linked Washington Women, Former Democrat Organizer Charged With Terrorist Attack in Train Derailment Plot

Two women are charged with attacks on railroad infrastructure.

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Two ANTIFA-linked Bellingham, Washington women were federally charged on counts of terrorist attack and violence against a railroad carrier on Monday, with the Department of Justice alleging Ellen Reiche and Samantha Brooks placed a “shunt” on railroad tracks in Whatcom County.

The shunt device in question disrupts the low level electrical current on the tracks and can disable various safety features. Charging documents indicate that previous shunting incidents had caused dangerous situations for traveling trains and almost resulted in a spill of hazardous materials at least once.

Reiche(pictured), 23, and Brooks, 27, were arrested on Saturday night. In a charging press release, US Attorney Brian Moran reveals that authorities have discovered 41 incidences in which dangerous shunts were placed on railroad tracks belonging to BNSF Railroads since January.

According to reports on her now-deleted Linkedin page, Reiche was previously employed as a Deputy Field Organizer for Washington State Democrats. She appears to be something of an environmentalist type, working as a park aide for the state, a naturalist for Outer Island Excursions, and a mentor for Wild Whatcom. Reiche also has a bachelor’s degree in German from the University of Western Washington.

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Photography of Reiche’s vehicle released in the Department of Justice charging document reveals an “Indigenous Land” bumper sticker, suggesting the territorial United States was stolen from Native Americans.

Charging documents reveal that claims of responsibility for the shunt placements were posted onto anarchist website itsgoingdown.org, a platform used by ANTIFA militants to plan property destruction, violent crimes, and attacks on traditional American statues. The post regarding the placement of the shunt invoked supposed solidarity with Native American groups who oppose the construction of a Canadian oil pipeline.

This claim of responsibility stated that the shunting activity was carried out in solidarity with Native American tribes in Canada seeking to prevent the construction of an oil pipeline across British Columbia, and with the express goal of disrupting BNSF operations and supplies for the pipeline,” cites the charging documents.

A railroad safety deputy chief describes witnessing the two women placing the shunt device on railroad tracks by use of a game camera on November 28th. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies were alerted, and when the two women were found at the scene, they claimed they were merely looking for lost keys. However, authorities determined Reiche was in “possession of a brown paper bag that contained rubber gloves, a piece of black insulated copper wire, and a Makita Drill with a wheel-shaped wire brush attachment in the chuck.” The same wire had been used in previous shunting devices. A shunt was ultimately discovered near where the two women were confronted by sheriff’s deputies.

The terrorist suspects were released from jail in advance of a scheduled December 14th court appearance. The criminal charges are punishable by sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Their booking information at the Whatcom County Jail specifies state charges filed against the leftist militants.

Both of them are identified as Bellingham, Washington residents in the DOJ press release.

 

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