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Google, Amazon, and Israel in the new America

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America is changing before our eyes. But the Israeli Finance Ministry apparently hasn’t paid it any mind.

Last week, the head of procurement at the Finance Ministry’s Accountant General’s Office formally announced that Amazon and Google had won the government tender to provide cloud services to the government as Israel moves forward with the first phase of the Nimbus Project. Tender bids submitted by Microsoft and Oracle were rejected.

The Nimbus Project is a massive, multiyear project that will replace the data management infrastructure of government ministries and the IDF. To date, government ministries have used decentralized servers and dozens of independently operating websites to house and manage their data. The Nimbus Project will move all government computing data and applications to commercial clouds provided by technology giants.

When the government computer systems migrate to Google and Amazon’s data clouds, these firms will manage all of official Israel’s non-classified data and computerized applications. This will include everything from government and military payrolls to welfare payments, to government pensions. It will include the medical files of all Israelis. It will include their personal and corporate tax returns.

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