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In the United States, Google employees demonstrate to demand the repeal of a cloud contract with Israel

A contract worth more than 1.

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In the United States, Google employees demonstrate to demand the repeal of a cloud contract with Israel

A contract worth more than 1.2 billion dollars which is disturbing. In the United States, dozens of Google employees occupied Google Cloud offices in New York and California for several hours on Wednesday afternoon. Others also gathered in front of the tech giant's offices in Seattle, New York and Sunnyvale (California). The action aimed to demand the abrogation of a cloud contract entered into with the State of Israel called Nimbus, and shared with Amazon.

The agreement provides that the two companies cannot deny use of their cloud services to specific branches of government. An element at the origin of the anger of the protesters. The latter fear that Google's technology will be used by the Israeli army as the country continues its offensive on the Gaza Strip, since the Hamas terrorist attack on its territory on October 7.

Time magazine also got its hands on a document showing that the Israeli Ministry of Defense uses Google Cloud services via the Nimbus contract. According to this unsigned contract, the army is asking to extend this partnership. Enough to amplify the anger of the pro-Palestinian employees of the tech group. “It is deplorable that Google sold this technology to the Israeli government and military and lied to its employees about it,” Zelda Montes, a software engineer at YouTube (owned by Google), told the Washington Post. and participating in Wednesday's action.

At the end of the afternoon, nine employees were arrested, reports the Washington Post. Excerpts from a live broadcast on the Twitch platform, by the account notech4apartheid, show New York police officers evacuating the demonstrators. The latter have since been suspended from their functions. “Physically obstructing the work of other employees and preventing them from accessing our facilities is a blatant violation of our rules, and we will investigate and take action,” Bailey told the Washington Post Tomson, a Google spokesperson. “These employees have been placed on administrative leave and their access to our systems has been cut off.”

This is not the first action taken by Google employees to demand the repeal of this contract. As reported by the American newspaper, internal emails have been circulating for several months to protest against this agreement. In December, pro-Palestinian employees organized a “die-in” in front of Google’s offices in San Francisco. They lay down in the street and blocked traffic for several hours. Also in March, the company fired an employee who stood up to interrupt the speech of a top Google executive in Israel during a conference he was giving in New York.

At Amazon, employees also expressed their disagreement with the Nimbus contract. During a shareholder meeting in May 2023, they said they would support a resolution for a third party to investigate the contract. In order to find out whether, "customers' use of its products and services with surveillance, computer vision or cloud storage capabilities contributes to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law."

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