Google Drops Bid For Massive Military Cloud Computing Contract Amid Employee Pressure

Google Drops Bid For Massive Military Cloud Computing Contract Amid Employee Pressure

But Google Cloud chief executive Diane Greene said at the time that the company could not control the military's "downstream use" of the technology.

These certifications are a big deal in the world of government cloud computing, and they are one of the reasons Google dropped out of the running for the JEDI contract Monday.

The move comes following protests by Google employees on the tech giant's involvement in separate military effort known as Project Maven using artificial intelligence to help interpret video images.

However, the firm does leave space for potential government collaboration stating that Google "will continue our work with governments and the military in many other areas".

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

The contract is winner-take-all, with Amazon seen as the frontrunner.

Bids were due to be submitted on Friday with Amazon Web Services now the clear favourite to win.

"We are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn't be assured that it would align with our AI Principles", a Google spokesman said in a statement to Bloomberg. Had the JEDI contract been open to multiple vendors, we would have submitted a compelling solution for portions of it.

The Tech Workers Coalition, which advocates for giving employees a say in technology company decisions, said in a statement that Google's decision to withdraw from the cloud competition stemmed from "sustained" pressure from tech workers who "have significant power, and are increasingly willing to use it".

In June, Google said it would not renew the contract once it expired, and that same month, it released a set of principles for its work in AI.

Those AI Principles bar the use of Google AI software being used in "weapons or other technologies whose principal objective or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people", in "technologies that gather or use information for surveillance violating internationally accepted norms", and in "technologies whose goal contravenes widely accepted principles of worldwide law and human rights". "Google Cloud believes that a multi-cloud approach is in the best interest of government agencies, because it allows them to choose the right cloud for the right workload". The company faces allegations from President Donald Trump and his allies that it biases search results against politically conservative sources.