Microsoft Launches ‘Top Secret’ Government Cloud Service For US Intelligence Agencies

Microsoft has launched Azure Government Top Secret, a suite of cloud services designed for and deployed by US government contractors and intelligence communities, the company announced last month. The new cloud service was unveiled last December, and joins previous releases ‘Government’ and ‘Government Secret,’ as well as the Azure Public Cloud. Azure Government Top Secret is designed specifically to cover U.S. intelligence agencies and supporting organizations with their highly classified data workloads, while satisfying Intelligence Community Directive 705 standards of security.

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The computing giant claims it worked in collaboration with the U.S. Government to build a cloud portfolio that preserves national security and supports the Department of Defense (DoD) and related agencies that will use Azure Government Top Secret. The highly-secured cloud and data centers are launching on more than 60 Azure services, with the promise of more to follow.

The launch comes at a contentious time in Microsoft’s relationship with the U.S. intelligence community. The company filed a protest earlier this year over a disputed $10 billion cloud contract the National Security Agency (NSA) awarded to AWS. In the same month, the DoD shelved another $10 billion contract, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), which was the center of another legal dispute between Microsoft and AWS.