Google will no longer compete for the Pentagon cloud computing contract with the Pentagon because the project, JEDI may conflict with its purpose.
According to the company, they’re dropping the bid for a program that is best known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, JEDI. The DOD is looking to move massive amounts of data to the cloud. Bids are $10 billion for the contract and are being eyed by the other tech giants Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon, Bloomberg reports.
Their official statement says,
While we are working to support the US government with our cloud in many areas, we are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles and second, we determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with our current government certifications.
We will continue to pursue strategic work to help state, local and federal customers modernize their infrastructure and meet their mission critical requirements.
Google’s leadership and employees have been at odds over US government contracts. More than 4,000 employees signed a petition this year demanding “a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology”. About a dozen employees resigned in protest.
According to Oracle’s petition,
DoD’s single awardee IDIQ contract approach is contrary to statutory and regulatory requirements; contrary to the perspective of numerous industry experts that a multi-vendor IDIQ contract offers the most advantageous approach for DoD’s near term and long term technology requirements; contrary to the market trend toward multi-cloud environments; and contrary to DoD’s own stated objectives of flexibility, innovation, a broad industrial base, and keeping pace with evolving technology.
Reportedly in June, the company wouldn’t renew its contract for the Pentagon’s Project Maven program when it ends in March 2019. The program uses artificial intelligence to enhance drone strikes. If Pentagon multiples companies, it would be too complex and slow the migration of the data.
So, Google might have been interested in bidding on a portion of the work if the DOD was open to using multiple cloud providers.