Discovering last year prompted the urge to update a version of this story written in 2016 about Amazon getting into bed with the CIA. The previous work led off with the following summary:

With the advent of the partnership between the commercial world’s largest retailer and the Central Intelligence Agency, it is critical for every person to answer the question, ‘What is my responsibility as a human being, to support and participate with or resist and not cooperate with this association?’ Buckminster Fuller called the “invisibly operating CIA…Capitalism’s Invisible Army”.[Critical Path, pg.116] The brainchild of such Wall Street bankers as Allen Welsh Dulles, the CIA was established to ensure and further the control of corporate empire state interests over what are deemed “resources” throughout Mother Earth, for the benefit of the few over all Life.

The question posed above is more pressing than ever. Before expanding on the background of the Amazon-CIA corporate-state interlock, it is useful to highlight one area of information that is available beyond the Amazon straight-jacket: the field of books.

Discovering significant books to study as sources to cite in research about our collective history is an on-going process. While the subject matter is largely buried in a so called national security establishment classification system, there is a highly informative sphere of research by many dedicated people and communities providing coherent critical analysis with which to understand where we’ve come from and where we are going. affords a quick way to compare the prices of books at over a dozen online bookstores. Initial use revealed that more often than not, other booksellers prices beat the costs at Amazon. In addition to this, one can also tap into, “the world’s largest network of library content and services” as well as lookup services like providing a range of services dedicated to connecting with Independent Local Bookstores.

Beyond the book market, Amazon’s reach and increasing domination of virtually every dimension of the economic system that drives this society is disturbing far beyond the most compelling Hollywood thrillers such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Birds, Psycho, or The Silence of the Lambs. Background of this corporate-state interlock is a highly relevant “text-book” (pun intended) example to understand the dynamic of the expanding surveillance state and proceed with making choices based on this awareness.

Coming up on 4 years ago and beating out IBM and Microsoft, the $600 million contract Amazon Web Services (AWS) was awarded to provide secure cloud services to the Central Intelligence Agency positioned the dominant U.S. corporate flagship to merge domestic corporate (private) and state (public) economic and military hegemony. As reported on August 1, 2014:

Less than 10 months after a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge ended a public battle between AWS and IBM for the CIA’s commercial cloud contract valued at up to $600 million, the AWS-built cloud for the intelligence community went online last week for the first time, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The cloud—best thought of as a public cloud computing environment built on private premises—is yet far from its peak operational capabilities when it will provide all 17 intelligence agencies unprecedented access to an untold number of computers for various on-demand computing, analytic, storage, collaboration and other services….

In time, the cloud’s full capabilities are expected to usher in a new era of intelligence sharing and cooperation even as the IC [Intelligence Community] collects ever-greater amounts of data from sensors, satellites, surveillance efforts and other sources.

Importantly, the CIA believes the IC cloud will be as safe as—or safer—than security on its current data centers, having met IC standards that govern the handling of classified information. Each intelligence agency has a say in the accreditation process, according to intelligence officials. The AWS-built cloud launch essentially means the entire IC has vouched for its security….

The massive effort, led by the CIA and the National Security Agency, which built its own private cloud, culminated in a CIA contract awarded to AWS in February 2013 that was held up in court until October 2013 by competitor IBM.

The IC’s decision to tap a commercial cloud provider allows it to only pay for services it uses as opposed to costly internal data centers. The IC will also benefit through private sector innovation. Amazon, for example, made 200 incremental improvements last year to its platform; the IC will be able to implement those kinds of improvements as it sees fit.

CIA’s Amazon-Built Cloud Just Went Live, Frank Konkel,, 1 Aug 2014

Prior to AWS-CIA secure cloud services going online at the beginning of August, Project Censored published a story in May titled, “Is Amazon About to Help Obama Assassinate an American Citizen?” The focus included the prospect that Amazon’s, “‘cloud’ computing services, which can be used even to launch drone attacks … could make Amazon an accessory in the assassination….

Furthermore, the man whom President Obama suspects of terrorism overseas is the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the White House has confirmed the assassination. The assassination was ordered to take place no matter where the subject was found, no matter his distance from a battlefield.

But how can this be justified? The Executive Branch’s power to assassinate U.S citizens away from the battlefield allows no due process at all. The United States government believes that this is for the greater good, when in reality, it is violating American citizens’ constitutional right to due process as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; let alone using the web’s largest retail company to help it do so.

In January 2014, prior to the Project Censored article, Norman Solomon wrote about the unprecedented conflict of interest of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who also exercises sole ownership of the Washington Post (Why the Washington Post’s New Ties to the CIA Are So Ominous). Solomon pointed out how the $600 million contract with the CIA, “puts Bezos’ two entities at cross-purposes: The Post is supposed to expose CIA secrets. Amazon is under contract to keep them…. Both Amazon and the CIA enjoy digital prowess at collecting global data and keeping secrets, and the two institutions have only just begun to explore how to work together more effectively.”

Zooming ahead to November 2017 Business Insider writer Matt Weinberger reported in Amazon is launching a ‘Secret’ cloud service for the CIA leading off with the following points summarizing the deepening relationship between Amazon and the CIA:

  • Amazon Web Services introduced Secret Region, a new service specifically for the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community.
  • It’s not really a secret service: It’s name just indicates it can handle data that’s been classified at the “secret” level.
  • Amazon has offered the CIA a Top Secret Region since 2014 as part of a $600 million deal.
  • The extension of that older CIA deal with this new Secret service underlines the market dominance of AWS.

…A key difference is that the Secret Region will be available to non-intelligence government agencies, assuming they file the right paperwork. The government and Amazon are promoting the new service as a way for the US intelligence community to modernize its infrastructure and more quickly get more information to the appropriate people.

The synergistic integration of the 17 intelligence agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community, with a new dimension of government agencies outside the IC, indicates the increasing “federal market share” corporate hegemon Amazon is accruing to itself. The most significant segment beyond the IC is the military as reported by Nextgov:

Amazon Web Services is the most profitable division of business giant Amazon, and it is recognized as the dominant private-sector commercial cloud services provider, serving major customers like Netflix. AWS further signaled its intent to corner the growing $8.5 billion federal cloud computing market in opening a new East Coast corporate headquarters in Fairfax County and unveiling a new computing region for government customers. The company also recently announced it can host the Defense Department’s most sensitive, unclassified data.

The AWS Secret Region strengthens AWS’ position as “a dominant player” in the federal cloud computing market, according to Katell Thielemann, research vice president at Gartner, Inc.

The Defense Department, which spends some $40 billion on IT each year, has the most unlocked potential in cloud computing spend[ing], and AWS, Microsoft and IBM each have early contracts in place to serve military agencies.

It is critical to recognize the alternatives to this centralizing model that offer the greatest creative prospects for the future of the human project.

Michael Shuman is the author of Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age (1998). Read the transcript of his talk, Going Local: New Opportunities for Community Economies, presented at the Community Land Trust of the Southern Berkshires January 2002 meeting.

As we consider the fate of the next generation on our planet, we can say with confidence that the future lies with a woman. The question is: Which one? There are two I’d like to introduce you to, one of whom will determine the future of our economy: TINA and LOIS. TINA comes from Maggie Thatcher, who said “There Is No Alternative” to global economy—T-I-N-A. Local elected officials, economic developers, and community planners have embraced TINA through two types of strategies. The first is to convince a company like Toyota to locate in your backyard; the second is to export your goods as far and wide as possible. But there is an alternative, and that alternative is LOIS, which stands for “Local Ownership and Import Substitution.”

This evening I would like to make four basic points: 1) LOIS is a better woman for economic development than TINA; 2) LOIS is more competitive than most of us think; 3) If we take LOIS seriously, she can help us make the term “economic development” worthy of the name; and 4) There are several practical steps you can and should take here and now, beyond the many groundbreaking activities you are already involved in.

Riane Eisler is a social and systems scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. Dr. Eisler is the only woman among 20 great thinkers including Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee selected for inclusion in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians: Perspectives on Individual, Social and Civilizational Change (summary, analysis) in recognition of the lasting importance of her work as a cultural historian and evolutionary theorist. She has received many honors, including honorary Ph.D. degrees, the Alice Paul ERA Education Award, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 2009 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award, and is included in the award-winning book Great Peacemakers as one of 20 leaders for world peace, along with Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King.

Success and Survival in the post industrial world requires an accelerated shift towards partnership. Each one of us can contribute to the partnership movement. We can change by example, education, and advocacy. We can shift our relations from domination to partnership — starting with our day-to-day relations all the way to how we relate to our mother earth. Shifting from Domination to Partnership