AWS clinches cloud deal with Colorado law enforcement agencies

US State of Colorado signs AWS cloud deal, paving way for law enforcers to make greater use of digital technologies during criminal investigations

The US State of Colorado has inked a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to pave the way for its law enforcement agencies to use its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings.

The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) agreement follows on from similar deals the cloud giant has secured in other US states, including California and Minnesota.

These agreements are geared towards increasing the efficiency of law enforcers by allowing them to tap into newer technologies that can make the process of recording and sharing evidence easier to do.

“Cloud opens the door to the future of policing. From body-worn cameras, video storage and digital evidence management to records management systems, analytics, information sharing and the internet of things [IoT],” said AWS in a statement.

According to AWS, more than 2,000 government agencies now use its technologies, and the company is in the throes of a concerted effort to sign up more in the criminal justice community.

Teresa Carlson, vice-president of AWS worldwide public sector, said using its cloud technologies means these organisations can spend less time worrying about infrastructure management and focus more on fighting crime.

“We recognise that when law enforcement agencies place data in the cloud, they put an absolute priority on secure access to information, wherever and whenever it is needed. To meet these needs, the AWS Cloud infrastructure has been architected to be the most secure, reliable and flexible cloud computing environment in the world,” she said.

“We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our justice and public safety customers and partners so that they can confidently use the AWS Cloud with all the powerful security features, tools and best practices it offers, while focusing on their core missions – keeping our nation safe.”

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The use of cloud technologies by criminal justice organisations is permitted by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as outlined in their recently revised Criminal Justice Information Systems Security Policy document.

As the document sets out, that is on the understanding that any metadata generated as law enforcement bodies use cloud is not repurposed by the provider in any way.

“The cloud service provider shall be prohibited from scanning any email or data files for the purpose of building analytics, data mining, advertising or improving the services provided,” the document states.

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