In the post Edward Snowden era there has been a great deal of attention on the general public's digital privacy and questions about how much reach should the government and law enforcement agencies have. But who does the government turn to for keeping their own files safe and secure in the cloud?
Microsoft is hoping that governments will rely on them for their cloud based needs as the technology company posted an article today detailing how Microsoft Azure Government is the "only hyper-scale cloud platform that is contractually committed to meeting the FBI’s [Criminal Justice Information Services security policy] requirements."
Law enforcement agencies across the US might soon be looking to use Microsoft's Azure Government platform as the International Associate of Chiefs of Police, the largest organization of police leaders in the US, updated their guidelines to recommend that all cloud based storage of criminal justice information should comply with these very FBI's CJIS requirements.
And Michael Donlan, Microsoft's Vice President of State and Local Government, believes the Redmond based technology company is best suited for the job not only because they are the only provider contractually committed to compliance with the CJIS, but also:
"...for Microsoft, CJIS compliance isn’t just a check box. While other technology companies claim to support CJIS requirements, many are vague on the subject and details around it or how they work with law enforcement agencies to meet the mandatory security and privacy needs."
On today's post, Donlan also provides testimonials from the Los Angeles Police Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, and the Oakland Police Department, who are already using Microsoft Azure to store and manage their criminal justice information. While the testimonials agree with the importance of CJIS compliance for their organizations, Oakland Police Officer Dave Burke also adds:
“Once we get our video onto the Azure platform we can aggregate it, we can learn from it, we can make the database proactive to tell us things. We can run a keyword search against all the audio and pull up videos where certain things were said. From an emergency management or even a court and judicial process perspective, this really opens the door.”
As the sole cloud provider that is contractually committed to CJIS compliance, hopefully Microsoft's Azure will prove to be a safe and effective way for law enforcement agencies to both protect their data as well as the privacy of citizens. If you are a law enforcement officer at an agency that is considering cloud services, Microsoft has provided a list of five questions that they recommend agencies ask potential service providers on today's post.