The U.K.’s three spy agencies have contracted AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing arm, to host classified material in a deal aimed at boosting the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence for espionage.
The procurement of a high-security cloud system has been championed by GCHQ, the U.K.’s signals intelligence body, and will be used by sister services MI5 and MI6, as well as other government departments such as the Ministry of Defence during joint operations.
The contract is likely to ignite concerns over sovereignty given that a vast amount of the U.K.’s most secret data will be hosted by a single U.S. tech company. The agreement, estimated by industry experts to be worth £500m to £1bn over the next decade, was signed this year, according to four people familiar with the discussions. However, the details are closely guarded and were not intended to be made public.