Amazon has launched a new cloud computing service for US government departments called GovCloud.
The company says that the service has enhanced security measures, allowing government departments to use the service while still meeting their regulatory obligations.
For example, the fact that the service is only accessible within the US means it can be used by departments subject to the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulation, which governs how defense-related data can be handled.
"Because AWS GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by US persons only, government agencies can now manage more heavily regulated data in AWS while remaining compliant with strict federal requirements," Amazon said in a statement.
The statement includes a comment from Tomas Soderstrom, chief technology officer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory labarotory, saying that the enhancements will allow it to make greater us of the cloud. "As we move more workloads into the cloud, we look forward to leveraging ITAR compliant clouds, such as the new AWS GovCloud for our compliance-dependent projects so we can continue to look to the cloud first for even more missions," he said.
Google made a similar move last year when it launched "Google Apps for Government", a US public sector focussed version of its hosted productivity suite. The service, which added extra security and access controls, was launched shortly after Google lost an Apps contract with LA Police Department on security grounds.