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Google won’t bid on $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing deal

11 October, 2018, 06:26 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Google dark clouds

Bidding on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) began approximately two months ago, currently, the lead contender to receive the contract is Amazon who previously worked for the Central Intelligence Agency setting up their cloud but a number of other companies are involved in the bidding including Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM.

The bid was for a Pentagon initiative called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), a plan to move the bulk of the Department of Defense's data to a centralized cloud infrastructure.

In addition to its concerns that some of the contract's terms might not align with its principles, Google also lacks some military clearances that would allow it to take up the assignment on its own.

"We will continue to pursue strategic work to help state, local and federal customers modernize their infrastructure and meet their mission critical requirements", a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

The principles bar use of Google's artificial intelligence (AI) software in weapons as well as services that violate worldwide norms for surveillance and human rights. More than 3,000 of Google's employees signed a letter asking Chief Executive Sundar Pichai to end the company's involvement in the project.

Google isn't the only major tech company working with parts of the U.S. military.

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 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".

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

Top Pentagon officials have said the JEDI contract would account for about 16 percent of the department's overall cloud-computing work, subsuming numerous department's own cloud efforts.

Google has dropped out of the race for the Department of Defense's $10 billion, 10-year cloud contract, but Microsoft is still all-in.

The front-runner for the contract is widely believed to be Amazon, which already has a $US600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency.

The government has yet to make a decision about the complaint, but Google said that if the contract had been open to multiple vendors, it would have "submitted a compelling solution for portions of it".

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