Amazon unhappy Microsoft won $10 billion 'war cloud' Pentagon contract

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/14/amazon-to-war-over-10-billion.html

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I am really interested to see how this turns out, even leaving the Trump aspect out of it. Almost every one of these massive contracts gets disputed. If I were bidding on one, I would have a separate team dedicated entirely to identifying and logging potential funny business that could later be grounds for dispute.

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Bezos is crossing Gates off his Christmas Card List, again.

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Microsoft? That would be the company whose software left a US Navy Aegis cruiser dead in the water for several hours in 1997? They must be looking forward to getting the opportunity to do that to all of the US armed forces at once.

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To be fair, they were literally testing a prototype at the time and the sub was at port.

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Compared to arms manufacturers that was a bargain.

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Can’t we just have the billionaire boys club duel over this?

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That fucking table of tech-holes tho…

ap1

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Yeah there’s bias against your crappy amazon web services government version.

Fascinating read, but the article was vague how NT was to blame. Here’s a more detailed account of the divide-by-zero error that was at fault, turns out it was an issue with bad data and proprietary software:

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So what is this “war cloud” exactly?

Amazon owner, and world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos was paid $600 million by the CIA to develop software and media for the agency, that’s more than twice as much as Bezos bought the Washington Post for, and a move media critics warn spells the end of journalistic independence for the Post.
Meanwhile, Google has a very close relationship with the State Department, its former CEO Eric Schmidt’s book on technological imperialism was heartily endorsed by deep state warmongers like Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.
In their book titled, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, Eric Schmidt and fellow Google executive Jared Cohen wrote:
What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first.”
Another social media giant partnering with the military-industrial complex is Facebook. The California-based company announced last year it was working closely with the neoconservative think tank, The Atlantic Council, which is largely funded by Saudi Arabia, Israel and weapons manufacturers to supposedly fight foreign “fake news.”
The Atlantic Council is a NATO offshoot and its board of directors reads like a rogue’s gallery of warmongers, including the notorious Henry Kissinger, Bush-era hawks like Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and author of the PATRIOT Act, Michael Chertoff, a number of former Army Generals including David Petraeus and Wesley Clark and former heads of the CIA Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell.
39 percent of Americans, and similar numbers of people in other countries, get their news from Facebook, so when an organization like the Atlantic Council is controlling what the world sees in their Facebook news feeds, it can only be described as state censorship on a global level.
After working with the council, Facebook immediately began banning and removing accounts linked to media in official enemy states like Iran, Russia and Venezuela, ensuring the world would not be exposed to competing ideas and purging dissident voices under the guise of fighting “fake news” and “Russian bots.”
Meanwhile, the social media platform has been partnering with the U.S. and Israeli governments to silence Palestinian voices that show the reality of life under Israeli apartheid and occupation. The Israeli Justice Minister proudly revealed that Facebook complied with 95 percent of Israeli government requests to delete Palestinian pages. At the same time, Google deleted dozens of YouTube and blog accounts supposedly connected to the government of Iran.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/social-media-censorship-twitter-permanently-bans-dissent/262807/

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Bezos, meet Gates.

b2d320f5df9477f01f8bed33b5e6764f

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Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

Setting aside the “dueling billionaires” aspect, Amazon has a fairly good argument here, given Trump’s constant, public hate-on toward Bezos. It’s really not hard to believe the Pentagon was directly ordered by the White House to not give the contract to Amazon, no matter how superior their proposal might have been. That would absolutely be in-keeping with how this administration rolls.

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I used to work for a municipal government and did some procurement work. This was in Canada so different rules would apply, but I bet the rules in the US for government procurements are not significantly different.

It is almost impossible to run one of these large government IT procurements without creating grounds for a dispute. The Procurement department will do their best to run a fair procurement, but before you even start, you have a project team that has already decided who they want to win, who are annoyed they have to do a competitive procurement and who will do everything they can to influence the process to make sure their favourite wins. Then when you actually have to write the procurement documents, the rules are so vague and so vast that its possible to spin any kind of restriction as “bias”. Do you need a certain feature to accomplish your business goals? BIAS! Do you need the software to definitely NOT do a certain thing? BIAS! Then of course, all scoring has an element of subjectivity which can be questioned. And it doesn’t help when the people doing the scoring have a habit of doodling on their scoring sheets little notes like “This is such a waste of my time, we already know we’re gonna give the contract to MS”, which is a thing that actually happens.

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In an upcoming book on James Mattis’ tenure as secretary of Defense it claims President Donald Trump told Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of a $10 billion cloud contract for the Pentagon so Bexos might have something to complain about.

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