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Daily News Analysis

Project Nimbus

25th June, 2024 International News

Project Nimbus

Source: Aljajira

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.

Context: more than 1,200 self-identified STEM students and workers have signed a pledge to not take jobs or internships at Google or Amazon. Their reason: the companies’ involvement in Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion project which provides cloud computing infrastructure to the Israeli government.

Project Nimbus

  • Project Nimbus is an initiative by the Israeli government to establish comprehensive public cloud services for its government ministries and related bodies.
  • Announced in April 2021, it involves a partnership with Google and Amazon, who jointly won the bid to deliver these services.
  • The primary goal of Project Nimbus is to ensure data sovereignty and prevent the leakage of sensitive information outside Israel's borders by having a public cloud service operating within the country.

Criticisms of Project Nimbus

  • Surveillance and Occupation:
    • Enables Israeli surveillance on Palestinians.
    • Facilitates the occupation of Palestinian land.
  • Public Opposition:
    • In October 2021, anonymous Google and Amazon workers wrote an opinion piece in The Guardian, demanding withdrawal from Project Nimbus.
    • Workers claimed their products are used to deny Palestinians basic rights, force them out of their homes, and attack Gaza, prompting war crime investigations by the International Criminal Court.
    • No Tech for Apartheid, an activism platform by M Power Change and Jewish Voice for Peace, organized a pledge stating that Project Nimbus makes Israeli apartheid more efficient and deadlier for Palestinians.

Alleged Harm to Palestinians

Investigations by The Intercept:

  • Advanced AI Capabilities: Google is providing the Israeli government with AI and machine-learning tools via Google Cloud Platform, including facial detection, automated image categorization, object tracking, and sentiment analysis.
  • Military Applications: Israeli government procurement documents reveal that state-owned weapons manufacturers Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems are required to use Amazon and Google for cloud computing needs.
  • Broader State Use: Cloud customers include entities like the Bank of Israel, the Israel Airports Authority, and the Settlement Division, which facilitates Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

Responses from Google and Amazon

  • Google:
    • Clarified that Nimbus is for workloads on the commercial platform by government ministries in finance, healthcare, transportation, and education.
    • Stated that the work is not directed at military or intelligence services.
  • Amazon:
    • Emphasized that the cloud technology benefits all customers, regardless of location.
    • Highlighted their support for employees affected by the war and their work with humanitarian agencies.

Protests and Actions

  • April Protests: Google workers associated with No Tech for Apartheid held sit-ins at offices in Silicon Valley, New York City, and Seattle.
  • Aftermath: Google subsequently fired 28 employees involved in the protests.




Q.  Project Nimbus often mentioned in news is associated with which of the following country?





Answer A