Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Citing 'Don't Be Evil' Motto, 3,000+ Google Employees Demand Company End Work on Pentagon Drone Project

"By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon, and General Dynamics."

Julia Conley

More than 3,000 Google employees have demanded that their company end its involvement in a Pentagon contract to analyze imagery, potentially to improve the targeting of drone strikes. (Photo: yournewswire.com)

More than 3,000 Google employees have signed a letter that's circulating in the company demanding that the tech giant end its involvement in Project Maven, a Pentagon program that could be used to develop drone technology.

The project, the workers argue, runs counter to the company's stated mission and motto.

"By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon, and General Dynamics," wrote the employees, who include senior engineers. "The argument that other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn't make this any less risky for Google. Google's unique history, its motto 'Don’t Be Evil,' and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart."

"We believe that Google should not be in the business of war...Building this technology to assist the U.S. Government in military surveillance—and potentially lethal outcomes—is not acceptable." —Google employees

The letter (pdf) comes weeks after reports surfaced that Google was implementing Project Maven, an artificial intelligence surveillance tool, to interpret video imagery—likely in order to improve the targeting of drone strikes. Some Google employees condemned the company's involvement in a recent company-wide meeting, before circulating the letter, according to the New York Times.

"We believe that Google should not be in the business of war," wrote the employees. "Therefore we ask that Project Maven be canceled, and that Google draft, publicize, and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology."

Google has said the technology it's developing is "non-offensive," while former chief executive Eric Schmidt, who still sits on the board of Google parent company as well as the Pentagon advisory board, claimed in November that the military would use artificial intelligence like Project Maven "to help keep the country safe."

The Google employees issued a clear rejection of Schmidt's suggestion, writing, "This contract puts Google's reputation at risk and stands in direct opposition to our core values. Building this technology to assist the U.S. government in military surveillance—and potentially lethal outcomes—is not acceptable."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Peace Advocates Sound Warnings as Progressive Lawmakers Go All-In for $40 Billion Ukraine War Package

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine must be condemned," says one activist. "But the administration has been telegraphing for weeks that its war aims now go well beyond defending Ukraine."

Brett Wilkins ·


Oklahoma Lawmakers Pass Strictest US Abortion Ban While Roe Still Stands

Reproductive rights supporters vowed to fight against the ban that begins at fertilization and, like legislation in Texas, "creates a bounty-hunting scheme" for enforcement.

Jessica Corbett ·


Judy Blume, Mo Willems Among 1,300 Children's Authors to Condemn 'Wave of Book Suppression'

"Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for everyone's humanity."

Kenny Stancil ·


Now Do Windfall Tax, Say Climate Groups After Passage of Big Oil Price Gouging Bill

"Voters will reward politicians who stand up for people, not polluters," said one campaigner, "and taxing windfall profits is wildly popular in every part of the country."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo