Google Ends Bid for Huge Pentagon Contract Following Protests by Employees

Google has ended its bid for a Pentagon contract of $10 billion for a cloud computing project, it announced on Monday. The change of plans comes after employees at Google protested and some resigned at what they considered the company’s enabling of warfare technology, and called for corporate policy to prevent Google to work in the future on any harmful technologies.

The bid was for an initiative at the Pentagon known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, which is a plan to move the majority of the Defense Department’s data to one cloud infrastructure that is centralized.

The plane would have data that is currently held by contractors move to a cloud solution, and tech companies including Google, Amazon and Microsoft were stepping up to be part of it.

Google’s official statement on its change of plans said that while Google is working to support the United States government with is cloud in several areas, we will not bid on the JEDI contract due to not being fully assured that it would be in alignment with our principles of AI and secondly, Google determined there were parts of the contract out of scope with our government certifications.

Earlier in 2018, Google made a decision not to renew one other defense contract known as Project Maven, which provided AI for assessing drone imagery.

Following details of the involvement of Google in Project Maven became known, thousands of employees at Google signed petitions asking for the company to leave the project and dozens resigned as a show of protest.

The announcement by Google did not go as far as some employees had demanded to abstain from all technology that is warfare-related in the future.

Google said that it will continue pursuing strategic work to help the local, state, and federal customers modernize infrastructures they have and meet the critical requirements they have, which leaves plenty of room for additional projects involving contracts with the Pentagon.