Briefing

Google Cloud secures seven-figure deal with U.S. Department of Defense

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The new contract, which is through the DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit, will be focused on identifying cyber threats. (Axios)

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Talking point: This isn’t Google’s first rodeo with the DoD. In March 2018, the company partnered with the Pentagon on Project Maven, a drone AI imaging program. It proved controversial: thousands of Google employees signed a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai urging him to pull out of the project, and nearly a dozen reportedly resigned in protest. Eventually, the company said it would not renew the contract and it expired in March 2019. The new contract comes amid an ongoing skirmish over the DoD’s coveted US$10-billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, out of which Google backed out and which Microsoft won. After Amazon Web Services contested the decision in court, a judge temporarily blocked all work pertaining to the contract. The lawsuit has been put on hold until August.