Google engineer fired for speaking out against Project Nimbus

Israel has Google and Amazon over a barrel, but this still isn't acceptable!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

Google has been on a tear recently. It fired over 1,000 people in just a matter of days. It’s been caught acting in bad faith with unions. And now, when more people have been waking up to the humanitarian crisis in Palestine, Google feels it has to police how people protest within its own company.

Israel’s “War”

In case you have been paying attention to the news, there is an ongoing genocide in Gaza right now. I’d excuse you for not knowing because mainstream media never seems to want to cover it. Or at least they’ll cover the Israeli side by calling it a “War on Hamas” or “Israel-Hamas war”. What’s happening in the region is far from a war. An ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians is what’s going on. And, while they frame that this “conflict” started on October 7, this has been going on for over 75 years.

As mentioned in other articles here, Israel has fully embraced the 21st century. Companies like The NSO Group are making spyware to make it easier to spy on people. But they are also working with US tech companies to bolster surveillance of citizens of both Israel and Palestine. One such project is Project Nimbus.

Project Nimbus

Project Nimbus is a joint cloud computing venture between the Israeli government and military, Google via its Google Cloud Platform and Amazon via Amazon Web Services. The contract is worth $1.2 billion and has Google and Amazon provide cloud computing services, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. You know, Project Maven but on steroids.

The kicker with all this is that Israel included a clause that forbids Amazon and Google from pulling the plug on the project if boycotts happen. The tech companies also can’t deny service to any specific government agency. Now, wow would you put those clauses in unless you know you were about to do some terrible things that people would find objectionable?

Last year, a number of Google employees had urged Google to cancel the project. They published an open letter to apply pressure along with pointing out a the “hate, abuse and retaliation” that Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian employees were facing in the company.

Protest in NYC

This leads us to last week when a brave Google Cloud engineer stood up during a presentation to voice his dissent of Project Nimbus and what Israel was doing in Palestine.

I’m a Google software engineer and I refuse to build technology that powers genocide or surveillance!”

Anonymous Google Cloud engineer

The event he was interrupting was an Israeli tech event in New York called MindTheTech. The theme for the year was “Stand With Israeli Tech”. This may be due to the large amount of divestment happening around the world due to Israel’s atrocities as of late.

The engineer, who had spoken to freelance journalist Caroline Haskins, had chosen to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by Google. He told her that he wanted “other Google Cloud engineers to know that this is what engineering looks like — is standing in solidarity with the communities affected by your work.”

Unfortunately, Google found out who the employee was and promptly terminated him.

Earlier this week, an employee disrupted a coworker who was giving a presentation – interfering with an official company-sponsored event. This behavior is not okay, regardless of the issue, and the employee was terminated for violating our policies.”

Google spokesperson

If you needed any evidence, this is a reason why Google got rid of “Don’t be evil” in their motto.

Because this…this is evil!

Sources: Engadget, Wikipedia

Share This Article
By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *