Google’s cloud division lands deal with the Department of Defense

Google’s cloud division lands deal with the Department of Defense


Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Google Cloud has landed a with the Department of Defense, the company announced Wednesday.

The deal is in the seven figure range, Axios reported ahead of the release.

The deal could thrust Google back into a controversial position. Google’s former cloud chief told employees in 2018 that the company would not renew a different Defense contract after it was set to expire in March 2019. That announcement came after thousands of Google employees signed a letter urging their CEO to pull out of the contract and about a dozen resigned in protest.

The new contract, which is through the DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), will be focused on identifying cyber threats, according to the release. Google said the system “will provide real-time network monitoring, access control, and full audit trails, enabling DIU to maintain its strict cloud security posture without compromising speed and reliability.”

The system, which will be centrally managed from Google’s console, will allow the DIU to run web services and applications across competing cloud services like those offered by Amazon and Microsoft.

The scope of this new contract appears far different and smaller than that of Google’s previous cloud contract that employees opposed. That contract, known as Project Maven, involved Google’s help analyzing drone videos using artificial intelligence (AI). Employees who protested the project at the time said Google should not be in the “business of war.”

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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