re: GSA Loses $2.5 Billion Cloud Contract Fight
Its not just about creating jobs in some congressmans' states (though we all expect there is a bit of that). Dedicated facilities, private networks and even general location restrictions do not limit competition. Companies are free to build a data centers in the US or other designated countries if they wish.
The US has the 2nd highest average corporate tax rate, so even if labor costs were the same, it can cheaper to send work offshore. Which seems to be the issue here - offshore companies knowing they can compete strongly on price if not in technical expertise or industrial knowledge. (In case you're wondering, Saudi Arabia has the highest corporate tax rate but it only applies to *foreign* companies not their own companies). The high tax rate coupled with China being allowed to join WTO (inspite of human rights issues still continuing today) opened the floodgates of US job loss. Mind you, many of those jobs were/are low margin, and you see large IT companies shifting focus to the more highly skilled higher profit jobs/contracts - we've got to get our higher education system geared up to fill those needs.
Back closer to the original topic, we the people, should be requiring our data (not just the governments) to be secure in general. Data transversing public internet, weither your email, your medical records, your purchasing records, etc, even if encrypted is exposed. With the kind of computer power available (remember the stories about cloud based hacking and how quickly and relatively cheaply things have been cracked?) encryption is no longer enough.
Hopefully intelligent informed consumers will start questioning their vendors and service providers if their information is truely protected, and if other parties have access to it. Maybe you trust the company you do business with, but the outsources to another company for some of there IT which outsources and offshores your data amongst other companies. Any security lapse anywhere in the chain puts you at risk. Even data transversing "private" networks connected up multiple companies and shared infrastructure is at risk if someone inflitrates any of the organizations involved.