Google drops out of Pentagon cloud computing competition

Google is no longer competing for a Pentagon cloud-computing contract worth up to $10 billion, saying in a statement that the contract may conflict with company principles. 

A Google spokesman said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg that the company is "not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles."

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"And second, we determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with our current government certifications," the spokesman added.

Bids for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract are due from companies on Oct. 12. The project includes moving Department of Defense Data to a commercially operated cloud system, according to Bloomberg.

The Google spokesman also said in the statement that Google is “working to support the U.S. government with our cloud in many ways.”

Google's move to drop out of consideration for the contract comes after the company decided in June to not seek another contract with the Department of Defense to provide artificial intelligence for drone warfare. That decision came after thousands of Google employees signed a letter calling on the company to withdraw from its work on that project, known as Project Maven.

“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” the letter read. “Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

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