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There are plenty of ways to have EC2 instances within a particular region communicate, since they can use private IP addresses and you can assign them to the same security group, or even mutually trusted security groups.

One thing that I haven't been able to find, however, are any recommendations on how you're supposed to securely communicate between, say, a machine in us-east and another in us-west.

What I gather from googling is that a communication attempt from another region is indistinguishable from something coming from any machine on the internet - i.e., you can't tell.

Can someone point me to a doc or FAQ on this?

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If you've elastic IPs assigned to your instances, you can open the SSH connection for those IPs in your security group.

After that you can use SSH/SCP or SSH tunnels to communicate among them.

Is that what you're asking?

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Yep. (I was also wondering if I was right that Amazon machines can't recognize inter-region communication, but I've managed to completely lose interest in only about 3 hours and your answer looks great). –  Ed Norris May 6 '11 at 17:59
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