Dark side of the Jedi

Yes, I guess that George Lucas really had no idea that this would hold for well over 45 years, but that happens when you become the real innovator. In this we recognise innovators, but the path of one is often dangerous, perilous and it only works when the competition is at your heels. Consider that Star Wars came out when we had The Omen, Taxi Driver, All the presidents men, Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, the Duellists. All excellent movies, all driving the others to do better, that is why it works, so when I see “reversing the Trump-era award to Microsoft Corp and announcing a new contract expected to include its rival Amazon.com and possibly other cloud players” I merely wonder how stupid Trump actually was. To give $10,000,000,000 to Microsoft when they screw up their console position and hand the number two place to Nintendo with the weakest of all consoles, only to likely lose again in the future to the Amazon Luna and possibly even to Netflix? How delusional can you become? Microsoft tried to attack the Apple tablet market and failed miserably again and again, they blew their mobile market and they are trying to create waves for their Azure market, that is the player we want for the U.S. Defense Department? This all whilst we get a day ago “Microsoft has “paused” SQL Server in its Windows Containers project. Microsoft advises anyone interested in running SQL Server in a container to use the Linux root instead”, so basically the two non entries (Google and Amazon) were a better solution off the bat?

So, this Jedi (aka the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) is off to a rocky start. I had never expected to be any commander in chief so delusional that they would hand the contract to one player, all whilst better solutions (in the worst case merely equal) would be considered without proper vetting? I am not stating to merely give it to Amazon or Google, that is why vetting is an important process, yet in all that, Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-pentagon-jedi/pentagon-hits-reset-on-trumps-10-billion-cloud-deal-welcoming-new-players-idUSKCN2EC1YY) gives us “The company cited a 2019 book that reported Trump had directed the Defense Department to “screw Amazon” out of the JEDI contract”, is this how Americans see their national defence, as an ego driver? It would be one thing if Microsoft is the better party, but that hasn’t be the case for some time. 

So when I see “the plan would likely involve a direct award for “urgently needed” capabilities and then a “full and open” competition for multiple suppliers by early 2025”, which we get from John Sherman, acting chief information officer for the Defense Department. My issue here is that when I see ‘urgently needed’, I also remember the joke (not a funny one) that the Zumwalt class represents and the billions spend there, then there are a few more projects, all with pressing needs. And whilst we are getting towards it, the entire Kaseya and Solarwinds debacle shows the larger pressing matter. Security matters! And the matter of security can never be properly investigated if it is appointed to one player, one debatable player mind you. I am not stating that security at Google or Amazon is better, but the Exchange issues, which we get from ZDNet in April shows us “Four zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server are being actively exploited by state-sponsored threat groups and others to deploy backdoors and malware in widespread attacks”, this doesn’t mean that Google and/or Amazon is better. But the debate is on and Microsoft lost top dog and pole position years ago, they are merely in it to remain mediocre, all for the good of the board of directors. They lost to Apple (tablets), then they lost to Google (with Bing), then they lost to Amazon (web services and SaaS) and now surpassed by TikTok (video against China), that is an impressive fail rate. Consider that Bing has a market share of 2.71%, which against Google with 91.95% is slightly too funny for words. 

But this is not about Microsoft, it is about Jedi (all these funny acronyms). So when we consider the dark side of that forceless solution (by Microsoft) and we need to wonder about “the Defense Department also announced its plans for a new multi-cloud initiative known as the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, or JWCC. It must provide capabilities at all three classification levels — Unclassified, Secret and Top Secret — and parity of services across all classification levels; integrated cross-domain solutions; global availability including at the tactical edge; and enhanced cybersecurity controls, according to the Pentagon”, not the intent, but the investigative presumption of ‘enhanced cybersecurity controls’, both Solarwinds and Kaseya showed us that and this field is still widely in development, and sources like business wire are setting the Marke that cloud security will double over the next 4 years, a stage of increased visibility will both increase security and criminal activities, the winner remains unknown at present, even if we acknowledge that REvil has the upper hand, we have no way of knowing what happens tomorrow,  if security comes from innovators there is every chance that Amazon or Google will get there before Microsoft will, even Apple has a better chance of showing innovation than Microsoft in the cloud atmosphere at present. The fact of what happens next will be out soon enough, yet my mind wonders why anyone would be stupid enough to award national defence to anyone without proper vetting.  So when we accept that it was meant as “part of a broader digital modernisation of the Pentagon aimed at making it more technologically agile”, wouldn’t you want to vet to broaden the application of data, the security of the system and the application of security towards data, users and access? There is a reason that SELinux had roots going back to the NSA, this they all wanted to throw away? And the media is merely reporting the news, not questioning that time line? Why is that?

Only the agile and versatile remain superpowers, and the former president was willing to hand over 50% of THAT equation? So consider that what was JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) could have become the Darth (Defence Application Reprehensive Technology Hype) defence system. 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Military, Politics, Science

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.