Google kills bid for $10 billion Pentagon contract after employee protests

12 October, 2018, 02:53 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Google dark clouds

This is the second huge defense contract from which Google has withdrawn.

In a set of principles laid out to guide its development of artificial intelligence, Google also said it won't build AI for surveillance that violates "internationally accepted norms".

The contract involved is the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), which aims to develop a large cloud computing system meant to help build new weapons and host classified data.

Google has abandoned the race to win the Pentagon's Dollars 10 Billion Cloud Competition. In its statement, Google said it would have preferred that JEDI be open to multiple vendors so that it could have "submitted a compelling solution for portions of it".

According to them, however, the company refuses to work with the government of the United States.

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Google has announced that it will not be placing a bid for a cloud-computing contract with the Pentagon.

The company did, however, add that they are still "working to support the USA government with our cloud in many ways". She also emphasised that the company is prepared to meet the highest classification requirements for handling "top secret USA classified data".

Pichai recently found himself before Republican lawmakers to discuss issues that include the company's work in China and antitrust concerns.

Defense Department officials said in early March that the $10 billion, 10-year contract would be bid out to a single cloud provider.

The new Azure services follow Microsoft's announcement that its Dynamics 365 product line - an enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software-as-a-service - will be authorized to handle Impact Level 5 workloads in the first half of calendar 2019.

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This decision comes just a few months after a number of employees signed a petition, went to the media and downright resigned following Google's involvement with Project Maven - a Department of Defense project that uses AI to analyze drone footage.

Google is behind other technology companies such as Amazon and Microsoft in obtaining government cloud-security authorizations that depend on the sensitivity of data a service is hosting.

Amazon Web Services is now the only company to have achieved an IL-6 security authorization, besting other competitors including Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and International Business Machines Corp.

A Google spokesman added that there were also portions of the contract that were out of scope with the company's current government certifications. Having one company to run everything is not only bad practice, IBM argued, but is also less secure, since it gives an attacker only one target to aim at and only one target to bring down.

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