Microsoft closes 'controversial' contract with Pentagon for five years

Microsoft has signed a contract with the US Department of Defense for five years worth 1.76 billion dollars (1.53 billion euros), according to the Pentagon Friday.


Microsoft has signed a contract with the US Department of Defense for five years worth 1.76 billion dollars (1.53 billion euros), according to the Pentagon Friday.

Microsoft will take care of all the cloud storage of the ministry. In October last year it turned out that not all employees are behind the controversial cloud contract. In an open letter they expressed their concerns about the cooperation. They warned against the use of artificial intelligence for military purposes.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's chief lawyer, then said he was still behind the contract. "By withdrawing, we would miss out on the opportunity to engage in a public debate about responsible use of technology."

Google decided in the same period to abandon participation in the tender after protests within the company.

In addition to Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Amazon were in the race to provide the cloud services of the Pentagon.

Oracle has indicted US government to contract tender

Oracle sued the US government in December for the procurement process of the contract. According to the American software company, the tender of the contract to one party is "contradictory with tender requirements and does not run in sync with the strategy of the sector".

Because the contract is awarded to one party, it inhibits "constant competition, rapid innovation and lower prices", according to Oracle. The company previously complained to the highest government body that can conduct internal investigations into the work of the federal American government.

This body, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), ruled in November last year that the state of affairs does meet the tender requirements. Moreover, according to the advisory body, awarding the contract to one company is the best option for national security reasons.

See also: Microsoft defends interest in controversial contract with Pentagon

REF: https://www.nu.nl/algemeen/5679368/microsoft-sluit-vijf-jaar-omstreden-contract-met-pentagon.html

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