A Google employee who became a high-profile opponent of the tech giant’s $1bn artificial intelligence and surveillance contract with the Israeli military has announced her resignation. Ariel Koren, a marketing manager, will be leaving the company this week, citing what she said was its creation of a hostile work environment due to her social activism.
“I am leaving @Google this week due to retaliation & hostility against workers who speak out,” tweeted Koren. “Google moved my role overseas immediately after I opposed its $1B AI/surveillance contracts with Israel. And this is far from an isolated instance.”
The controversy began when Koren protested Google’s $1.2bn collaboration with Amazon and the Israeli military on a programme called Project Nimbus.
She spent more than a year organising her protest to persuade Google to pull out of the deal, including circulating petitions, lobbying executives and speaking out to news organisations.
However, Koren said that instead of listening to her concerns, Google blindsided her in November 2021 with an ultimatum: either agree to move from San Francisco in the US state of California to Sao Paulo, Brazil, or lose her job.
At least 15 other Palestinian employees and allies have shared their experiences describing the “institutionalised bias” within the company.
Source: Al Jazeera