Latest in Gear

Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google staff reportedly refused to work on government security tool

The tool could open up more military contracts to the company.
258 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg reports today that earlier this year, a group of Google employees refused to work on a security tool that would have opened up more military contracts to the company. The tool in question is air gap technology that would be key to the development of the secure cloud configurations required by government agencies. Without it, Google might be left in the "Moderate" security rating it has been granted by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, while others like Microsoft and Amazon have products with "High" ratings that give them access to additional contracts.

Current and former Google employees told Bloomberg that those against the project -- who became known as the "Group of Nine" -- had concerns about working on a tool that might help the government wage war. The sources also say that the engineers' refusal to work on the air gap technology helped spur other company protests, like the one formed in response to Google's Project Maven. Employees signed petitions against the military AI project, some even resigned because of it, and ultimately the company decided not to renew its Project Maven contract with the Pentagon.

Google isn't the only company facing pushback over government contracts. The ACLU delivered a petition to Amazon as well as a letter from 17 of its investors demanding it stop selling its facial recognition technology to law enforcement groups. And over at Microsoft, some employees are angry at the company's support of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It's currently unclear where Google's air gap feature stands. We've reached out to the company and we'll update this post if we hear more.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
258 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Peloton settles music licensing lawsuit over its exercise videos

Peloton settles music licensing lawsuit over its exercise videos

View
Spotify redesign makes it easier to play, favorite and download music

Spotify redesign makes it easier to play, favorite and download music

View
New Powerbeats wireless headphones appear to be on the way

New Powerbeats wireless headphones appear to be on the way

View
The latest Timex smartwatch has 25-day battery life

The latest Timex smartwatch has 25-day battery life

View
Is the Roku Ultra your favorite streaming device?

Is the Roku Ultra your favorite streaming device?

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr