NSA's Grand Plan to Snowden-Proof Its Data Using the Cloud

Grazed from NextGov.  Author: Frank Konkel.

Almost two years ago, the National Security Agency forever lost its “No Such Agency” nickname at the hands of one of its contractors -- a once-trusted insider by the name of Edward Snowden.

Snowden’s stream of leaked NSA secrets about classified surveillance programs shined the public spotlight on the clandestine government organization. Though the stream has now dissipated to a trickle, the impact to the intelligence community continues...

'War game' will determine if DoD can share well with others in the cloud

Grazed from FierceGovernmentIT. Author: Molly Bernhart Walker.

The Defense Department is pushing ahead with a plan that would permit commercial cloud computing providers operating in DoD facilities to serve non-federal government clients. So far, the department allows at least one commercial cloud provider to operate in Defense-owned and operated facility.

But the latest idea – described as a "commercial cloud distribution center" by DoD Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen – would take the operation a step further by allowing the data of clients like financial institutions on commercial clouds at DoD facilities. DoD has received several "very attractive" proposals, said Halvorsen during a March 18 press briefing, and the department will soon "walk through a war game of those proposals."...

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Microsoft eyes Government's move to cloud with local data centres

Grazed from BusinessStandard. Author: Shivani Shinde Nadhe.

With three data centres being set up by Microsoft in India the Redmond-based company is expected to have a leg-up in having a bigger pie of the Indian cloud computing business. Microsoft globally has spent over $4.5 billion to set up 19 data centres (DCs) across the globe as it accelerates its strategy to be a Mobile First, Cloud First company.

In the last 12 months the company has expanded its DCs from eight countries to 19. These includes in countries like Australia, Japan, China and India. In India, many believe, that this will allow Microsoft to target the government sector which so far has been vary of adopting to public cloud from third party players...

How Cloud Can Improve City Government

Grazed from FutureGov. Author: Editorial Staff.

Civil servants don’t like sharing their data. In the name of accountability, departments will happily shield their precious data from the eyes of other departments, let alone citizens. It takes an extreme act of political will, or a crisis, to drive transformation. This may explain the relatively slow uptake of cloud computing technology by Asia Pacific’s city governments.

“A lot of the opposition to the cloud comes from city officials not wanting to share their data,” says Vijay Jagannathan, Secretary General of CityNet, a network of over 130 cities and organisations focused on sustainable urban development in Asia Pacific. “In developing countries you find that a lot of power comes by not sharing. And it can be hard politically to force departments to share.”...

'Security, privacy' main barrier to 'government cloud' rollout in EU

Grazed from TheRegister. Author: Editorial Staff.

Security and privacy issues are holding back "the cloudification of governmental services" in the EU, according to a new report. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) said concerns about how sensitive data is protected in a cloud computing environment have not been resolved. It said data security and privacy issues were the main reasons that "deployment of governmental cloud computing is in general at a very early stage (click through for 40-page/3.03MB PDF)" in the EU.

"Security and privacy issues are considered as key factors to take into account for migration, and at the same time are the main barriers for adoption," ENISA said. "Protection of sensitive data is still an issue seeking solution, spanning from the SLA provisions to the actual technological mechanisms i.e encryption etc...

CIA claims its Amazon Web Services cloud is at ‘final operational capability’

Grazed from CloudComputing.Net.  Author:  James Bourne.

It was one of the most fascinating battles of 2013: who would win the lucrative CIA cloud computing contract? Two horses were in the race, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and IBM; and it was the former who eventually came out on top despite appeals from the latter.  Now, according to CIA chief information officer Doug Wolfe, the AWS cloud has attained “final operational capability”.

As reported by Enterprise Tech, Wolfe told delegates at an industry event this week the CIA cloud would be “offset” on a private security network, and AWS had “made a big investment” in the project.  The AWS cloud will be unleashed across 17 US intelligence agencies according to the report, with Wolfe noting the CIA was “behind where [they] hoped to be” in terms of cloud adoption...

Cloud Computing: White House appoints first chief data scientist

Grazed from Author: Rebecca Trager.

The White House has appointed its first chief data scientist and chief technology officer for data policy. The new post will be filled by D J Patil, who most recently served as the vice president of product at RelateIQ, a software company acquired by the California-based global cloud computing company Salesforce last year.

In his new role, Patil will assist in shaping policies and practices to help the US remain a leader in technology and innovation, foster partnerships to maximise the nation’s return on its investment in data and work to recruit the best minds in data science to join public service...

DoD accelerates security rules for cloud computing

Grazed from FederalRadioNews. Author: Jared Serbu.

The Pentagon is already working on changes to federal acquisition rules which would require stepped-up notification procedures when private companies hosting DoD data have their systems penetrated by hackers. But the department evidently feels a sense of urgency about those rules when it comes to its still-emerging use of cloud computing.

On Feb. 8, DoD published a class deviation — a sparsely-used procedure that lets the department implement regulatory changes immediately — telling all of its contracting officers that if they are purchasing anything remotely resembling cloud computing services, they must follow new procedures the DoD CIO laid out last month in its new security requirements guide for cloud computing...

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Cloud Computing: Hard-drive spying - Will Silicon Valley push back against NSA?

Grazed from BizJournals. Author: Greg Baumann.

Will NSA-linked hard-drive spying help Silicon Valley find its grit? One might think that the news that the National Security Agency has apparently hidden spying software on hard drives produced by Silicon Valley companies would prompt outraged calls for urgent change. Unless one looked back and saw how little has changed since initial reports that the NSA was tapping data lines and building backdoors into security protocols.

The latest disclosure, based on a report by Russian computer-security firm Kaspersky Labs and validated by Reuters reporter Joe Menn, will renew the discussion in Silicon Valley as to how much government spying impacts U.S. technology company sales. But costs mount as that discussion plays out...

HP launches new SaaS solution for government mobile apps

Grazed from FutureGov.  Author: Editorial Staff.

As the mobile channel becomes an increasingly important access point for government services, HP has launched a new Software-as-a-Service solution to improve the way government agencies monitor their mobile apps.

HP AppPulse Active monitors the performance of both native apps and browser-based apps, allowing IT departments to see service levels in real time - rather than when it is too late and a fault has already occurred...