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Google workers protest cloud contract with Israeli government

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Google workers protest cloud contract with Israeli government

Dozens of Google employees began to occupy company offices in New York City and Sunnyvale, California, on Tuesday in protest of the company’s $1.2 billion contract providing cloud computing services to the Israeli government.

The sit-in, organized by the activist group No Tech for Apartheid, is taking place in Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s office in Sunnyvale and on the common 10th floor of Google’s New York office. The sit-in will be accompanied by outdoor protests at Google offices in New York, Sunnyvale, San Francisco and Seattle starting at 2 pm Eastern Time and 11 am Pacific Time.

Tuesday’s actions mark an escalation in a series of recent protests organized by tech workers who oppose their employer’s relationship with the Israeli government, especially in light of Israel’s current attack on Gaza. Since Hamas killed about 1,100 Israelis On October 7, the IDF killed more than 34,000 Palestinians.

The 2021 contract, known as Project Nimbus, involves Google and Amazon jointly providing cloud computing infrastructure and services to all branches of the Israeli government. Last week, Time reported that Google’s work on Project Nimbus involves providing direct services to the Israel Defense Forces. No Tech for Apartheid is a coalition of tech workers and organizers with MPower Change and Jewish Voice for Peace, which are peace-focused activist organizations led respectively by Muslims and Jews. The coalition was formed shortly after the signing of Project Nimbus and its details were made public in 2021.

No Tech for Apartheid also published a open letter signed jointly by 18 other organizations demanding that Google and Amazon immediately cancel their work on Project Nimbus. At the time of writing, it has gathered more than 93,000 signatures from the general public. In addition to Project Nimbus, the letter cited recent reports that the IDF had used Google Photos to identify and detain Palestinians en masse in the West Bank.

Google did not immediately respond to WIRED’s request for comment.

On March 4, Google cloud software engineer Eddie Hatfield interrupted Google Israel’s CEO at Mind the Tech, a company-sponsored conference focused on the Israeli tech industry, and more than 600 Google employees signed a petition opposing the company’s sponsorship of the conference. After Hatfield was fired three days later, Vidana Abdel Khalek, a Google trust and safety policy employee, give up of his position in opposition to Project Nimbus.

Then, in late March, more than 300 Apple workers signed an open letter alleging retaliation against workers who had expressed support for the Palestinians, and urging company leaders to show public support for the Palestinians. .

Hasan Ibraheem, a Google software engineer, participates in the sit-in at his local Google office in New York. “This has really been the culmination of our efforts,” he tells WIRED.

Since joining No Tech for Apartheid in December, Ibraheem says, he has been participating in weekly “show-up” actions held in cafes at Google offices in New York, Sunnyvale, San Francisco and Mountain View, California. It involves holding up a sign that says “Ask me about Project Nimbus” during your lunch break, handing out flyers, and answering questions from your coworkers.

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