Google Terminates Employee for Criticizing Company’s Collaboration with Israeli Military

International Desk, 10th March: Google has terminated an employee who publicly criticized the company’s involvement with the Israeli military during a keynote speech at the annual Mind the Tech conference in New York.

The incident occurred during the conference on Monday when an employee from Google’s Israel branch disrupted the event by protesting against the company’s collaboration with the Israeli military. The now-dismissed Google Cloud engineer boldly exclaimed, “I refuse to build technology that powers genocide or surveillance.”

Confirming the termination, Google spokesperson Bailey Tomson stated, “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.”

The protest specifically targeted Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract between the Israeli government and tech giants Google and Amazon. This initiative, aimed at enhancing access to cloud services, has sparked controversy since its inception in 2021. Critics argue that such technologies facilitate surveillance and data collection on Palestinians, raising ethical concerns.

According to CNBC, over 600 Google workers had recently signed a letter addressed to leadership, urging the company to drop its sponsorship of the Mind the Tech conference, which promotes the Israeli tech industry.

The firing of the protesting Google engineer has drawn strong reactions from various quarters. “No Tech For Apartheid,” an organization opposing Project Nimbus, released a statement condemning Google’s decision. The statement reads, “Google’s aims are clear: The corporation is trying to silence workers to hide their moral failings. Google is enabling the world’s first AI-powered genocide through Project Nimbus.”

The organization further emphasized the ethical responsibility of engineers, stating, “As a Cloud Software Engineer on critical technology that enables Project Nimbus to run on sovereign Israeli data centers, this worker spoke from a place of deep personal concern about the direct, violent impacts of their labor.”

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