Cloud Computing

Australian government has inked a AU$2 billion deal with U.S. tech giant Amazon to create a top secret custom cloud that will store sensitive military intelligence information, deputy prime minister Richard Marles reveale d Thursday.

The project will be developed for the Defense and National Intelligence Community to support information sharing among the intelligence agencies and is expected to be completed by the end of this decade, The Guardian reported.

Marles said the project will put Australia on par with the world's leading defense forces and increase the country's interoperability with U.S. agencies, in addition to generating 2000 jobs.

Three locations have been identified for setting up highly secure datacenters, though they will be kept a secret. The purpose-built Top Secret (TS) cloud will be run by a subsidiary of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), ABC News reported.

The project will utilize artificial intelligence with the government maintaining sovereignty over the cloud. Due to the complex strategic circumstances prevailing in the country, this technology had become a necessity, Marles said.

"Modern defense forces and indeed modern conflict is more reliant upon information technology, upon computing infrastructure, than ever before. In turn, what that means is that increasingly modern conflict is occurring at a top-secret level. So this capability in terms of computing infrastructure will ensure that Australia may maintain at pace with the leading defense forces in the world," he stated.

Currently, the government has announced AU$2 billion towards the project, but operational costs is expected to increase over the years.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the project will bolster the national intelligence community which will in turn deliver world-class "protection of our country."

"We face a range of complex and serious security challenges and I am incredibly proud of the work our national security agencies undertake on a daily basis to keep Australians safe," Albanese said.