Google fires employees Protesting against Project Nimbus
April 23, 2024

Why in News? Google has terminated 20 more employees protesting against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion defence contract between Google and Israel.

What is Project Nimbus? It is a contract signed in 2021 under which Google and Amazon will provide Israel with cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) services. The contract allows Israel to have its own “landing zone” into Google Cloud where it can store and process data, and access AI services safely. The Project is designed to be a self-contained ecosystem with its data centers located within Israel, governed by the highest security standards. It will offer unparalleled efficiency and security, allowing Israel’s military and government to tap into cloud services without the vulnerabilities that come with external dependencies.

Why is it being Opposed? Google employees are staging protests because Google is the provider of this technology to Israel. There are concerns that Israel can use it to increase surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, thus violating their right to privacy and freedom of expression. Israel can also use this technology to facilitate the ongoing expansion of its illegal settlements on Palestinian land (in West Bank). There have also been multiple reports of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) using AI to attack and fire at targets in Gaza.

What is Google’s Response to allegations against Project Nimbus? Google has clarified that this project is for workloads running on their commercial platform by Israeli government ministries such as finance, healthcare, transportation, and education and is not directed at highly sensitive or classified military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.