Google and Amazon employees speak out against Project Nimbus contract with Israeli military
In a letter published in The Guardian, the anonymous employees opened by saying, "We believe that the technology we build should work to serve and uplift people everywhere, including all of our users. As workers who keep these companies running, we are morally obligated to speak out against violations of these core values."
The employees, including around 90 Google and 300 Amazon workers, said they chose to keep their identities secret to protect themselves against retaliation.
They laid out their concerns over the companies' past contracts with the US Department of Defense, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and various police departments – relationships they described as a "disturbing pattern of militarization, lack of transparency and avoidance of oversight."
Then they delved into Project Nimbus, a $1.2-billion contract to sell cloud technology to the Israeli military and government. The employees said the deal "allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land."
The contract was reportedly signed in May, the same week a renewed outpouring of violence resulted in the deaths of over 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.
"We cannot look the other way, as the products we build are used to deny Palestinians their basic rights, force Palestinians out of their homes and attack Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – actions that have prompted war crime investigations by the international criminal court," they wrote, demanding the tech companies stop doing business with any militarized groups.
"We call on global technology workers and the international community to join with us in building a world where technology promotes safety and dignity for all," they concluded.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Press, 123/rclassenlayouts & 123RF/kornienko