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Google cites ethical reasons for dropping $10 billion bid for Pentagon contract — is the tech giant’s move justified?




The Google logo is pictured on the side of the Google India office building in Hyderabad on March 23, 2018.
The Google logo is pictured on the side of the Google India office building in Hyderabad on March 23, 2018.
NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images

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Google announced Monday that it will no longer compete for a $10 billion cloud-computing contract with the Pentagon because the project may conflict with its values.

The tech giant dropped its bid for a program known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). The program’s goal is to build a cloud-computing system that can handle classified U.S. military data. Google says they couldn't be assured that the Pentagon contract would align with their “AI Principles.”

Last August, Google faced backlash over its decision to secretly build a search engine for China. Hundreds of Google employees signed a letter protesting the move.

Critics find it hypocritical that Google is engaging with the Chinese government, but is pulling out of a potential deal with the Pentagon. What do you think, is the tech giant’s move justified? Ethical?

Guest:

Naomi Nix, reporter covering corporate influence for Bloomberg; she tweets @nsnix87