Google to End Military Contract Following Employee Complaints
Google says it will not extend a contract into next year to help the U.S. military analyze drone videos following complaints from company employees.
U.S. media reports said Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. told Google employees about the decision Friday.
Google employees say the tech giant will continue to work on the Maven Project until the contract ends next March. The military project uses artificial intelligence to increase defense capabilities, including using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze aerial drone imagery.
Thousands of Google employees signed a petition urging the company to cancel the contract, arguing that helping the military would violate Google’s motto of “Don’t be evil.”
Reuters reports that several hundred Google employees had planned to hold a public rally in San Francisco in July to protest the military contract.
Google had earlier defended the company’s involvement in the project saying it was limited to helping the military with non-offensive tasks and said the project would help save lives.
Google says it will soon release new company guidelines related to the ethical uses of AI.
North Korea Continues Cyberattacks Ahead of Nuclear Summit
Even as it signals a willingness to give up its nuclear arms, North Korea is brandishing another well-known weapon in its arsenal: cyber.
Under heavy sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, the cash-starved government in Pyongyang has for many years used cyberattacks to steal money from banks and other institutions.
Those intrusions are continuing, primarily in Asia and Latin America, even as U.S. President Donald Trump says that a planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will proceed later this month, according to a U.S. cybersecurity firm that advises companies and government agencies that have been breached by hackers.
In recent years, U.S. officials have singled out North Korea among countries that pose growing cyber threats to the United States.
In 2014, suspected North Korean hackers launched a massive attack on Sony Pictures in retaliation for releasing a movie that depicted a fictional assassination plot on Kim.
In 2017, North Korea unleashed the ransomware known as WannaCry that disrupted businesses and government services around the world, including England’s National Health Service.