Students pledge not to work for Google and Amazon due to Project Nimbus involvement

Over 1,000 STEM Talents Reject Big Tech Jobs: Is Project Nimbus to Blame?

by Faruk Imamovic
Students pledge not to work for Google and Amazon due to Project Nimbus involvement
© Getty Images/Dan Kitwood

Over 1,100 STEM students and young workers from more than 120 universities have taken a firm stand against two tech giants, Google and Amazon. This cohort has pledged not to pursue employment or internships with either company until they cease their involvement in Project Nimbus.

This contentious $1.2 billion initiative provides cloud computing services to the Israeli government. The movement spans across prestigious institutions including Stanford, UC Berkeley, the University of San Francisco, and San Francisco State University.

The spirit of protest was palpable this Wednesday when students from these universities joined tech workers and activists at a rally outside Google's San Francisco office, voicing their dissent against Project Nimbus.

The Ethical Crossroads of Technology

The pledge against employment at Google and Amazon emerges as part of a broader campaign led by No Tech for Apartheid (NOTA).

This coalition includes members from the Muslim grassroots movement MPower Change and the advocacy group Jewish Voice for Peace. Since 2021, NOTA has been vocal in urging these corporations to disengage from Project Nimbus and refrain from any dealings that support the Israeli government's activities.

The crux of the concern, as articulated in the pledge, is the role of technology in exacerbating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The document states, "By expanding public cloud computing capacity and providing state-of-the-art technology to the Israeli government and military, Amazon and Google are helping to make Israeli apartheid more efficient, more violent, and even deadlier for Palestinians." The sentiment among the protesters is echoed by individuals like Sam, a recent Cornell University graduate, who expressed a conflict between personal ethics and career opportunities in big tech firms.

Similarly, Naomi Hardy-Njie, a student at the University of San Francisco, emphasized the necessity of initiating change from the grassroots level, particularly in light of corporate executives' reluctance to engage with protestor demands.

The campaign has already seen tangible repercussions. Eddie Hatfield, a NOTA organizer and former Google employee, was dismissed after disrupting a speech by the Google Israel managing director at a tech conference in New York.

This incident was followed by the dismissal of over 50 Google employees who participated in sit-in protests at the company's New York and Sunnyvale offices. Despite these actions, Google maintains that Project Nimbus is not intended for classified or military purposes.

However, leaked documents suggest otherwise, adding fuel to the protesters' claims. Both Google and Amazon have yet to formally respond to these allegations.

Google Amazon