Google fires engineer who protested at a company-sponsored Israeli tech conference

Google has fired a cloud engineer who interrupted the managing director of its business in Israel, Barak Regev, during a speech at an Israeli technology event in New York. CNBC. “I’m a Google software engineer and I refuse to create technology that facilitates genocide or surveillance!” The engineer was seen and heard shouting video It was captured by Caroline Haskins, a freelance journalist who went viral on the internet. As he was dragged away by security — and amid laughter from the audience — he continued to speak and refer to Project Nimbus. It’s a $1.2 billion contract that Google and Amazon won to supply artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies to the Israeli military.

Last year, a group of Googlers published an open letter calling on the company to cancel Project Nimbus, in addition to calls for “hate, abuse and retaliation” from Arab, Muslim and Palestinian workers within the company. “Project Nimbus puts members of the Palestinian community at risk! I refuse to build technology that will be used for cloud apartheid,” the engineer said. After he was removed from the venue, Regev told the audience “[p]The privilege of working for a company that represents democratic values ​​is the art of giving a platform to diverse opinions.” He ended his speech after a second protester interrupted, accusing Google of complicity in genocide.

The incident happened during the MindTheTech conference in New York. Its theme for the year was apparently “Stand with Israeli technology,” as investment in Israel slowed after the October 7 Hamas attacks. Haskins wrote a detailed account He witnessed the event but could not stay until it was over because he too was thrown out by security.

A Google engineer who interrupted the event told Haskins that he wanted “other Google Cloud engineers to know that this is what engineering looks like – standing in solidarity with the communities affected by your work.” He spoke to the journalist anonymously to avoid professional implications, but Google clearly found out who he was. This was stated by the Google spokesperson CNBC he said he was fired for “interfering with an official company-sponsored event.” They also told the news organization that his “regardless of conduct was not good” and that “the employee was fired for violating the law.” [Google’s] policies”.

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