Google Will Not Renew Pentagon Contract That Upset Employee…
Even though the internal protest has carried on for months, there was no indication that employee criticism of the deal was dying down.
Earlier this week, one Google engineer — on the company’s internal message boards — proposed the idea of employees protesting Google Cloud’s conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco in July with a campaign called “Occupy Moscone Center,” fashioned after the Occupy Wall Street protests.
That engineer resigned from the company this week in protest of Maven and planned for Friday to be his last day. But he said he was told on Friday morning to leave immediately, according to an email viewed by The Times.
Peter W. Singer, who studies war and technology at New America, a Washington research group, said many of the tools the Pentagon was seeking were “neither inherently military nor inherently civilian.” He added, “This is not cannons and ballistic missiles.” The same software that speeds through video shot with armed drones can be used to study customers in fast-food restaurants or movements on a factory floor.
Mr. Singer also said he thought Google employees who denounced Maven were somewhat naïve, because Google’s search engine and the video platform of its YouTube division have been used for years by warriors of many countries, as well as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
“They may want to act like they’re not in the business of war, but the business of war long ago came to them,” said Mr. Singer, author of a book examining such issues called “LikeWar,” scheduled for publication in the fall.