SpzToid quotes Vanity Fair: The controversy involves a plan to move all of the Defense Department's data -- classified and unclassified -- on to the cloud. The information is currently strewn across some 400 centers, and the Pentagon's top brass believes that consolidating it into one cloud-based system, the way the CIA did in 2013, will make it more secure and accessible. That's why, on July 26, the Defense Department issued a request for proposals called JEDI, short for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. Whoever winds up landing the winner-take-all contract will be awarded $10 billion -- instantly becoming one of America's biggest federal contractors. But when JEDI was issued, on the day Congress recessed for the summer, the deal appeared to be rigged in favor of a single provider: Amazon. According to insiders familiar with the 1,375-page request for proposal, the language contains a host of technical stipulations that only Amazon can meet, making it hard for other leading cloud-services providers to win -- or even apply for -- the contract. One provision, for instance, stipulates that bidders must already generate more than $2 billion a year in commercial cloud revenues -- a "bigger is better" requirement that rules out all but a few of Amazon's rivals... Much of the language of JEDI, in fact, seems specifically tailored for Jeff Bezos. "Everybody immediately knew that it was for Amazon," says a rival bidder who asked not to be named. To even make a bid, a provider must maintain a distance of at least 150 miles between its data centers and provide "32 GB of RAM" -- specifications that few providers other than Amazon can meet. The article also cites last year's "so-called Amazon amendment, a provision buried in a defense authorization bill that will establish Amazon as the go-to portal for every online purchase the government makes -- some $53 billion every year." And it also notes that Amazon employs more than 100 lobbyists in Washington, and "has spent $67 million on lobbying since 2000 -- including more this year than Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo combined." The article says this controversy may be "a sign of how tech giants and Silicon Valley tycoons will dominate Washington for generations to come."
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