Officially, it's the AWS GovCloud (US), a new service from Amazon Web Services organized just for the federal government. The feds are hot for cloud services, but they also demand a long list of acronym-filled certifications like FISMA, SAS-70, ISO 27001 and more, including "an environment that enables agencies to comply with HIPAA regulations" according to their new release. All data will be stored in US data centers, and can only be accessed by clients in the US.
Since backing up data to an offsite cloud provider has become the first step in many company's Disaster Recovery plans, backup possibilities seem to attract the most attention. Of course, data sent offsite to a third party storage provider should be encrypted every step of the way and managed by the feds, not the cloud vendor, but what should happen in government and what does happen converge mightily lately (see, well, everything, this year and next during the election grind).
Some are thrilled with the potential cost savings while others are horrified at the potential security issues. Commenters, start your ranting!
Now hackers know exactly where to target US government servers.
Fadhli Rahim on techcrunch.com
I think your article fails to explicitly point out that huge segments of government data lack backup and are local.