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Google Reportedly Seeks Pentagon Contract Three Years After Employees Revolted

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Ailan Evans Associate Editor
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Google is competing to secure a lucrative cloud computing contract with the Department of Defense just three years after employee protests forced the company to walk away from a previous Pentagon deal, according to multiple reports.

Thomas Kurian, the head of Google’s cloud computing division, met with top Pentagon officials, including Air Force chief of staff Charles Q. Brown, Jr., to discuss the contract, The New York Times first reported Tuesday. The deal would make Google one of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) cloud service contractors, though it remains unclear exactly what services the company would provide.

The contract, known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, replaces the now-defunct $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract awarded to Microsoft in 2019. JEDI was eventually scrapped in July 2021 amid a legal fight with Amazon, who competed with Microsoft for the contract. (RELATED: Google Is Emailing Customers To Oppose Big Tech Antitrust Bills)

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - AUGUST 13: U.S. Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby participates in a news briefing at the Pentagon August 13, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. Kirby discussed the deployment of 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to help to evacuate U.S. embassy personnel as the Taliban seized control of Kandahar and Herat, the second and third largest cities in Afghanistan, just weeks prior to President Joe Biden's plan to completely withdraw U.S. troops there. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby participates in a news briefing at the Pentagon August 13, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Google was forced to abandon a previous Pentagon contract to help develop an artificial intelligence program used for military drone strikes, known as Project Maven, after employees protested the company’s involvement in 2018. The workers penned an open letter questioning the ethics of the project, while 12 employees resigned in protest.

Google’s employees have repeatedly attempted to shift the company’s direction through protests and internal activism, with the tech giant dissolving an ethics panel on artificial intelligence after employees protested the inclusion of Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James.

Neither the DOD nor Google immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment on the contract.

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