Cloud Computing

CIA claims cloud injunction will hurt national security

EDITOR'S NOTE: A version of this story first appeared on

The CIA clearly doesn't want to wait any longer for work to begin work on the $600 million cloud infrastructure it has tapped Amazon Web Services to build.

The Justice Department has filed classified documents detailing how IBM's request for an injunction to block Amazon from starting working on the project would cause "harm to the United States."

The existence of the filings were revealed in notice to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

"These documents detail the harm to the United States of an injunction, the current state of the agency's information technology requirements, and the significant challenges that further delay to the procurement at issue would present to the agency," the notice states.

The CIA has been trying for nearly two years to procure a commercially developed cloud infrastructure for the intelligence community.

It pulled the procurement in August 2012, taking corrective action after Microsoft and AT&T protested the agency's bid solicitation. IBM later protested the CIA's award to Amazon, which FCW first reported on in March.

The Government Accountability Office agreed with IBM's protest and recommended that the CIA take corrective action, which the agency indicated it would.

Amazon responded by filing suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, where a judge agreed with the company and cleared the way for Amazon to begin work on the CIA project.

IBM has said it plans to appeal the Court of Federal Claims decision and filed a motion for an injunction on Oct. 10. The filing by the Justice Department was in response to IBM's motion.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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