“ Markets involve choice; laws do not. Being a consumer is discretionary; being a citizen isn’t. But Prism, for all its breathtaking reach and intrusiveness, is less creepy to me than all the trillions of bits of information that commercial companies have stored up on all of us, gathered through a sophisticated mix of temptations, deceptions, default settings, carelessness, and sheer market power. It’s sinister when Big Brother is watching you, but it’s even more sinister when Big Brother is you, sharing.
“The deal was big news across the web. Amazon, pundits said, had stepped up its effort to challenge old-school giants like IBM in an area the old guard had long dominated federal contracting. The chorus of voices swelled Friday when the General Accounting Office responded to IBM’s protest with a ruling that said the CIA chose Amazon over Big Blue due to a “superior technical solution.” But Amazon’s CIA contract is important for far bigger reasons, and marks a much bigger shift than most people realize. You see, the GAO ruling on the matter reveals that the contract involves Amazon building cloud services inside CIA data centers. “The contractor generally was to provide a copy of its existing public cloud (modified where necessary) to be installed on government premises,” the GAO ruling explains. That may seem like a small thing, but in the world of cloud computing, it’s a seismic event.”