by Audrey Conklin
More than 600 Google employees said they “refuse” to be “complicit” in potential cloud computing work for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), according to a petition.
The employees signed a petition titled “Google must stand against human rights abuses” posted to Medium on Wednesday that says they will not work with CBP or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by association on a potential cloud computing contract.
Cloud computing allows entities like CBP to share resources, software and information through the internet rather than on a hard drive.
We won’t be complicit: #NoGCPforCBP
With this petition, we call on Google to publicly commit not to support CBP, ICE or ORR w/ any infrastructure, funding, or engineering resources, directly or indirectly, until they stop engaging in human rights abuses.https://t.co/8RITUXKJBq
— Googlers for Human Rights (@EthicalGooglers) August 14, 2019
“It’s time to stand together again and state clearly that we will not work on any such contract. We demand that Google publicly commit not to support CBP, ICE or ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] with any infrastructure, funding or engineering resources, directly or indirectly, until they stop engaging in human rights abuses,” the petition states.
“We have only to look to IBM’s role working with the Nazis during the Holocaust to understand the role that technology can play in automating mass atrocity,” it adds.
Several protestors marched within the official Google group, despite previous warnings from the company that doing so would violate corp policy. Others held up protest signs on the sidelines as Google marched thru. pic.twitter.com/TQVrTXwALG
— Shirin Ghaffary (@shiringhaffary) June 30, 2019
Google already provides cloud computing services to CBP, along with AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud for its “Enterprise Infrastructure.” The Google contract aims to limit the number of cloud providers for CBP, according to a Business Insider report.
“The government is pursuing a cloud strategy to increase access to cloud innovation and reduce the disadvantages associated with multiple cloud service providers/resellers,” an official notice for the potential contract reads.
In a similar June 2018 petition, Microsoft employees similarly called for the tech company to end its $9.4 million Azure Government cloud services contract with ICE in following reports that families were being separating from their children.
– – –
Audrey Conklin is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Googlers for Human Rights” by Shirin Ghaffary.