Google wants to bid for US defense contract despite employee protests

Google is preparing a proposal to win a defense contract in the US. A few years ago, employees protested strongly against the move to do so, and then the company abandoned it.

Google is now preparing a bid for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract, The New York Times reports. It is the same contract that first went to Microsoft, but which the Pentagon canceled this summer. Amazon was under consideration for the same tender, which Microsoft ultimately won.

The US Department of Defense already said that the cloud program, Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, JEDI, would receive a successor. Much defense technology still runs on equipment from the 1980s and 1990s. The program has to modernize the equipment.

Google does not confirm or deny preparing the bid. “We are committed to serving our customers in the public sector,” the company told the newspaper. “We will evaluate any future opportunities to bid.”

Google also wanted the JEDI contract, but the company withdrew after employee protests. Then the company said the tender clashes with its values. The company has not ruled out the possibility of a bid in its response to the newspaper and has not made it clear what has changed since that statement from 2018.