Google Sues U.S. Over Unfair Cloud Contract

The Department of the Interior's request for proposals to provide the agency with e-mail service is written to exclude Google, the company claims.
Google says that despite initial contact with the agency which led the company to believe that it could meet the DOI's requirements, things changed following a meeting in April, 2010. The agency's CTO, William Corrington, allegedly told Google representatives that "'a path forward had already been chosen' for the DOI messaging solution and there would be no opportunity for Google to compete because its product was not compliant with DOI's security requirements."

Google says that the DOI declined to provide those security requirements or meet with company representatives to discuss Google Apps security.

When Google representatives finally met with DOI officials in June, 2010, to clarify the capabilities of the company's products, Google says that it received mixed messages about the status of the DOI's contract. The company says it confronted agency officials about rumors that Microsoft's BPOS had already been selected and that DOI officials had responded that those rumors were unfounded.

Yet in August, 2010, Google contacted DOI officials about those assurances and presented "a DOI screenshot, which indicated that a 'pilot' project to migrate 5,000 DOI users to the Microsoft platform had been underway for months."

In its complaint, Google takes issue with the DOI's assumption that Microsoft BPOS is the only solution that can meet its requirements. It notes that "Microsoft topped a list of 12 major software security providers for the number of security vulnerabilities and software patches needed to plug security holes" and that Google was the only provider on the list with no zero-day disclosures.

Google also cites a four-day BPOS-Standard outage in January, 2010, to suggest that BPOS-Federal might not meet the DOI's uptime requirements.

Neither Google nor Microsoft responded immediately to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Interior said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading