AWS to store UK spy agencies’ material
AWS’s cloud infrastructure will be used by GCHQ, who signed off the deal, MI5 and MI6, and the Ministry of Defence during joint operations.
The deal was signed earlier this year, and over the next decade it’ll be worth £500 million to £1 billion for the American company.
GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming stated in an opinion piece for the Financial Times that the agencies “expect AI to be at the heart of this transformation and we want to be transparent about its used.”
The AI would allow “analysts to deal with ever increasing volumes and complexity of data, improving the quality and speed of decision-making.”
Fleming noted that this could be useful for identifying and controlling troll farms that release fake news, as well as tracing networks that traffic people, drugs or weapons.
AWS will host GCHQ’s and its sister agencies’ top-secret information. They will use it to efficiently share information from field locations overseas and use AWS tools like speech recognition and machine translation for faster processing of intercepted recordings. It will also enable spies to run faster searchers on each others’ databases.
Ciaran Martin, former head of GCHQ National Cyber Security Centre, stated that the deal with AWS was “not about collecting or hoarding more data,” but was to “use existing large amounts of data more effectively.”
FT sources said that GCHQ initially requested a UK provider but struggled to find one with the required scale or capabilities.
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