Report: Google employees boycotted security project over concerns about military contracts

Report: Google employees boycotted security project over concerns about military contracts
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A group of Google engineers earlier this year boycotted a project that would have helped the company secure valuable government contracts, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The group was concerned about the prospect of getting involved in building military technology, former and current employees told Bloomberg.

The project was building “air gap” technology, a security feature that physically isolates computers so that they can’t be touched by outside networks.

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Air gaps are required in order for companies to be authorized to handle sensitive data and contracts for agencies like the CIA. Google currently lacks the certifications for those sensitive contracts, unlike its rivals Microsoft and Amazon.

Bloomberg reported that the air gap boycott preceded and was a catalyst for the internal uproar that forced Google to pull out of Project Maven, a Pentagon artificial intelligence program.

Google is not the only tech company facing heat over its work with the government. Civil liberty groups are pressuring Amazon to stop selling facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies and employees at Microsoft have pushed its leadership to cut ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.