Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Google drops out of bidding for massive Pentagon cloud contract

Getty Images Getty Images
Kayla Schwartz | 11 October, 2018, 19:04

Google had been angling for the deal, hoping the $10bn annual contract could provide a giant boost to its nascent cloud business and help it catch up with Amazon and Microsoft.

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 7, 2017.

Google has dropped out of the running for the Pentagon's $10B cloud-computing contract, echoing what its employees have been saying since the jump: that the project doesn't jibe with its "corporate values".

Whoever lands the controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract will provide cloud computing infrastructure and other services to the US military for the next 10 years.

As part of its latest push to win government workloads, Microsoft said over the last six months it expanded FedRAMP, the certification that ensures the government's strict security and compliance standards, across more than 40 services that advance the provider's "intelligent cloud and intelligent edge" strategy. Google CEO Sundar Pichai also released a set of ethical guidelines for Google to follow as it continues to develop artificial intelligence. But Google Cloud chief executive Diane Greene said at the time that the company could not control the military's "downstream use" of the technology.

MSNBC Host Suggests Saudis Are Bribing Trump So They Can Assassinate Critics
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for Saudi Arabia to support an investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance. The Turkish government has claimed that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate , on the orders of the Saudi government.

Earlier this year, controversy emerged within Google over the company's participation in Project Maven, an effort to build artificial intelligence for the Department of Defense to analyze drone video footage, which could be used to target drone strikes.

The JEDI contract opportunity attracted interest from numerous big cloud firms. More than 4,000 employees signed a petition demanding "a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology".

He also said the Pentagon is restricting competition by including requirements that "mirror one vendor's internal processes" or "unnecessarily mandate certain capabilities" by requiring them to be in place by the submission deadline, as opposed to when the work would begin. Final requirements for the project were released in July after a months-long lobbying campaign in Washington by tech companies including Microsoft, International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp. that opposed the Pentagon's plans to choose just one victor for the project instead of splitting the contract among a number of providers.

With businesses looking to digitally transform and monetize their data, Opal said he's seeing an uptick in SWC commercial clients using the Microsoft government cloud to deliver services.

Microsoft now joins Amazon Web Services as one of the few vendors capable of hosting the secret and top secret data required by the contract.

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