Google wants in on the Pentagon's new cloud contract, receives criticism from the Alphabet...

Humza

Posts: 995   +169
Staff member
In context: The JWCC program is the Pentagon's replacement for its $10 billion JEDI project, which had to be canceled earlier this year following a lengthy legal row between Amazon and Microsoft. Google was notably missing from the action, as the company had previously been criticized by employees for providing AI tech to the military's controversial Project Maven program. With the DoD’s JWCC contract now seeking proposals from multiple vendors, Google is said to be "aggressively pursuing" the lucrative project, a move that's raised concern among the Alphabet Workers Union.

Google's "alarming" exit from Project Maven in 2018 came in the face of increasing internal pressure that saw thousands of signed employee petitions and a dozen resignations. The company even came up with a set of guidelines for future military AI partnerships that would forbid the tech's use for weaponry and surveillance.

A New York Times report has now revealed that the company is seeking to win a contract with the Pentagon for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability project, the replacement for JEDI. While JEDI's $10 billion were to be spent over a 10-year period with a single vendor, JWCC is a multivendor 5-year project with an undisclosed worth.

Microsoft and Amazon remain the current two best picks for the program, however, the Pentagon has previously said that it will also consider other players like Google, Oracle and IBM. Things shifted into high gear at Google's cloud division in September, when engineers were pulled off from other assignments to prioritize JWCC. The company now looks to submit a bid in the coming weeks, once the DoD deems it can qualify.

Expectedly, Google's interest in the project has also sparked concerns among the 800+ strong Alphabet Workers Union, a trade union of Google employees and contractors who've previously voiced and campaigned against Project Maven, labor rights as well as other workplace issues at Google.

Although the union has announced it will "fight" this lucrative contract and "win again," it remains to be seen how (and if) Google will address their concerns this time around. For now, the company has said that it is "firmly committed to serving our public sector customers, including the DoD." The latter expects to award a contract by April 2022.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,659   +7,558
I can't support a company that has lied, cheated, and dishonestly used private data to now be trusted with information that will certainly be highly classified. What's to stop them from selling that data to the highest bidder? Laws? Regulations? So far nobody has been willing to hold them accountable, so what makes us think we will now or in the near future?
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,286   +4,931
I can't support a company that has lied, cheated, and dishonestly used private data to now be trusted with information that will certainly be highly classified. What's to stop them from selling that data to the highest bidder? Laws? Regulations? So far nobody has been willing to hold them accountable, so what makes us think we will now or in the near future?
The problem is... I suspect each and every company is - or would be - guilty of exactly the same thing...

I love how people's mistrust of the Pentagon has gone so far as to simply assume that any contract with them must be evil.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,181   +1,828
TechSpot Elite
The stereotypical, uneducated mantra of “wOrKiNg wItH tHe DoD iS eViL” is very… Big Tech Californian of them.

It’s business, and how the world works. There are hundreds of thousands of employees all over the US that contract to DoD that aren’t planning the end of the world or enjoy bombing children.

What a childish joke.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,472   +6,252
I wonder if Gagme execs have yet realized that they will likely not be able to monitize this data without violating national security laws? ;)
 

psycros

Posts: 4,073   +5,591
If Google did get in this contract the only real question would be, who do you trust less with that data - the government or Google? I'd love to believe that our leaders really were using their gigantic spy apparatus to protect Americans, but the weaponization of federal agencies to destroy the lives of citizens who disagree with the neocommunist/globalist agenda is undeniable.