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The Business of the Internet Is Stuck in Trump's Swamp

Added 09-25-20 10:06:03am EST - “Plus: Silicon Valley's reaction to Snowden, journalists' relationships with their subjects, and an unpleasant surprise for hikers.” - Wired.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Wired.com: “The Business of the Internet Is Stuck in Trump's Swamp”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Hi, all. Plaintext is bracing for the next wave ... or, rather, the first wave getting worse. Gimme that flu shot!

To the best of my knowledge, Donald Trump has never visited a server farm. If he is aware of the amazing journey his rants take as they zip through the airwaves into Jack Dorsey’s data centers, he has never spoken about it. Nonetheless, the digital cloud seems to have taken on a strange prominence in the current administration’s economic policy. It’s almost as if the internet has become a strange attractor for deals that are tailored more to the president’s whims and grudges than the nation’s interests.

Even before the recent TikTok machinations—and don’t worry, I’ll get to those—the White House showed utter ham-handed bias when it comes to cloud contracts. I’m referring to the $10 billion JEDI project, one of the most prized government defense contracts in years. The frontrunner for that deal was Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon not only seemed to be the most qualified company, but had also proved itself to the Department of Defense and CIA by successfully performing in some smaller projects, demonstrating to a skeptical military establishment that a private company could be entrusted with critical data.

So it was a shock when the administration announced last November that the whole $10 billion contract would go to Microsoft. Could it possibly be that Amazon suffered because the president didn’t like the way The Washington Post covered him, and he wanted to get back at Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Post? Yes, it could, according to no less a source than Trump’s former secretary of defense Jim Mattis, who wrote in his book that the president told him to “screw Amazon.”

Citing bias, Amazon challenged the decision. Though the Pentagon reaffirmed its choice and swore that all was kosher, the suit is still pending.

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