Google has fired a cloud engineer who interrupted Barak Regev, managing director of its business in Israel, during a speech at an Israeli tech event in New York, according to CNBC. “I am a software engineer at Google and I refuse to create technology that drives genocide or surveillance!” the engineer was seen and heard shouting in a video shot by freelance journalist Caroline Haskins that went viral online. As he was taken away by security – and amid jeers from the audience – he continued to speak and mentioned Project Nimbus. That’s the $1.2 billion contract Google and Amazon won to supply AI and other advanced technology to the Israeli military.

Last year, a group of Google employees published an open letter urging the company to cancel Project Nimbus, in addition to calling out the “hate, abuse and retaliation” that Arab, Muslim and Palestinian workers receive at the company. “Project Nimbus puts members of the Palestinian community in danger! I refuse to create technology that will be used for cloud apartheid,” the engineer said. After being removed from the hall, Regev told the audience that “[p]the art of the privilege of working for a company that represents democratic values ​​is to give a platform for different opinions.” He finished his speech after a second protester interrupted and accused Google of being complicit in genocide.

The incident happened during the MindTheTech conference in New York. His theme for the year has apparently been “Support Israeli Technology,” as investment in Israel has slowed since the October 7 attacks by Hamas. Haskins wrote a detailed account of what she witnessed at the event, but was unable to stay until it was over because she was also kicked out by security.

The 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 repercussions, but Google clearly knew who he was. A Google spokesperson said CNBC that he was fired for “interfering with an official company-sponsored event.” They also told the news organization that his “conduct was wrong regardless of the issue” and that “the employee was terminated for misconduct [Google’s] policies.”

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