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Google Cloud to provide computing services to Israel military 

October 21, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Google headquarters is seen in Mountain View, California, United States on September 26, 2022. [Tayfun Coşkun – Anadolu Agency]

Google Cloud announced the launch of a new service which will provide cloud services to the country’s government and military.

“By 2030, the Google Cloud region in Tel Aviv will contribute a cumulative $7.6 billion to Israel’s gross domestic product, and support the creation of 21,200 jobs in that year alone,” Google Cloud said in a statement.

Google Cloud regions offer a variety of advanced cloud computing systems and features to users, such as data analytics, data loss prevention, network intelligence and debugging.

Israel is the first country in the Middle East to receive a Cloud region, though Google said that Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Doha, Qatar, will “soon” join the programme.

Israel Google Cloud Country Director, Boaz Maoz, said: “Google has long looked to Israel for globally impactful technologies including popular Search features, Waze, Duplex, Live Caption, and flood forecasting. At our Decode with Google 15RAEL event last week, we celebrated 15 years of Google innovation in Israel and our longstanding support of the country’s vibrant startup ecosystem.”

He added, “Over the years, we’ve expanded our enterprise investments in the country, too. In addition to our over a decade long investment in the space, Google has acquired Israeli-based companies like Alooma, Elastifile and Velostrata, and Uri Frank joined Google Cloud last month to lead our server chip design team from our offices in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”

It comes a year after Google and Amazon Web Services were found to be providing advanced AI and machine-learning capabilities to the Israeli government through its controversial $1.2 billion “Project Nimbus” contract.

Tens of Google and Amazon employees organised protests in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Durham, including the tech giants’ headquarters, calling for their employers to cancel the contract with the Israeli military.

Participants made it clear that Project Nimbus would strengthen the policies and mechanisms of apartheid and the suppression of Palestinians. According to experts with digital civil rights organisation Access Now, Israel’s use of surveillance and facial recognition technology appears to be among the most elaborate by a country seeking to control a subject population.

‘Complicit in Apartheid’: Google workers speak out against Israel contract