Tech companies can now bid on the Pentagon’s $10B cloud contract (techcrunch.com)

AWS was originally awarded this contract but Safra Catz (co-CEO Oracle) is on Trump advisory committee. She planted the seeds that Bezos can’t be trusted due to his ownership of Washington Post and what that publication has been saying about Trump.

Fully expect Oracle to make a huge run at this business. And don’t forget, Oracle was started as a company from an initial contract with the CIA. There’s not a single tech company more aligned with the US government than Oracle.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2018/04/16/pentagon…

Google Engineers Refused to Build Security Tool to Win Military Contracts

A work boycott from the Group of Nine is yet another hurdle to the company’s efforts to compete for sensitive government work.

.. Earlier this year, a group of influential software engineers in Google’s cloud division surprised their superiors by refusing to work on a cutting-edge security feature. Known as “air gap,” the technology would have helped Google win sensitive military contracts. The coders weren’t persuaded their employer should be using its technological might to help the government wage war, according to four current and former employees. After hearing the engineers’ objections, Urs Hölzle, Google’s top technical executive, said the air gap feature would be postponed, one of the people said. Another person familiar with the situation said the group was able to reduce the scope of the feature.

.. The act of rebellion ricocheted around the company, fueling a growing resistance among employees with a dim view of Google’s yen for multi-million-dollar government contracts. The engineers became known as the “Group of Nine” and were lionized by like-minded staff. The current and former employees say the engineers’ work boycott was a catalyst for larger protests that convulsed the company’s Mountain View, California, campus and ultimately forced executives to let a lucrative Pentagon contract called Project Maven expire without renewal.

Meet Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian Oligarch Indicted in U.S. Election Interference

He earned the slightly mocking nickname of “Putin’s cook.”

Despite his humble, troubled youth, Mr. Prigozhin became one of Russia’s richest men, joining a charmed circle whose members often share one particular attribute: their proximity to President Vladimir V. Putin.

.. According to the indictment, Mr. Prigozhin, 56, controlled the entity that financed the troll factory, known as the Internet Research Agency, which waged “information warfare against the United States” by creating fictitious social-media personas, spreading falsehoods and promoting messages supportive of Donald J. Trump and critical of Hillary Clinton. He has denied involvement.

.. he has emerged as Mr. Putin’s go-to oligarch for that and a variety of sensitive and often-unsavory missions, like recruiting contract soldiers to fight in Ukraine and Syria.

.. “He is not afraid of dirty tasks,”

.. “He can fulfill any task for Putin, ranging from fighting the opposition to sending mercenaries to Syria,” she said. “He serves certain interests in certain spheres, and Putin trusts him.”

.. the Kremlin endorsed projects like the troll farm without directly organizing them.

“This is done by somebody who receives large-scale government contracts,” he said. “The fact that he gets these contracts is a hidden way to pay for his services.”

.. When the troll factory was formed in 2013, its basic task was to flood social media with articles and comments that painted Russia under Mr. Putin as stable and comfortable compared to the chaotic, morally corrupt West. The trolls soon branched into overseas operations focused on Russian adversaries like Ukraine and the United States.

..  Facebook found, for example, that the agency had posted 80,000 pieces of content that reached more than 126 million Americans.

.. limited details about his personal life have emerged, mostly through the Instagram accounts of his two grown children.

One picture featured his son, Pavel, walking naked on the deck of the 115-foot family yacht. Other pictures showed a private jet and a vintage powder blue Lincoln Continental, said to be Mr. Prigozhin’s favorite car.

.. sweeping view from his wooded compound in Gelendzhik, the resort town on the Black Sea.

.. pier for the yacht, was built in an ostensibly protected forest much beloved by Mr. Putin and his cronies

.. In exchange for providing soldiers to protect Syria’s oil fields, companies linked to Mr. Prigozhin were awarded a percentage of the oil revenue

.. The only clues are the companies’ overlapping ties, including the same managers, shared telephone numbers or IP addresses.