By Sahid Fawaz
Employees are no longer sitting on the sidelines when it comes to immigration politics.
“Forget activist investors. At a growing number of tech companies, it’s the age of the activist employee.
This week, Amazon’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos was the latest tech chief to receive a blistering protest letter from employees, urging the company to end controversial government contracts.
In Amazon’s case, the focus of the letter was Rekognition, a facial-recognition system built on AWS, Amazon’s cloud service. After a report from the ACLU
revealed that Amazon is shipping the tech to police departments, a number of ‘Amazonians’ circulated a letter demanding that Bezos pull law enforcement contracts and increase transparency around the company’s participation in building surveillance systems. The letter also demanded that
Amazon ban Palantir, the data firm that provides intelligence to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Seciruty (DHS), from using AWS in light of widespread outrage surrounding immigrant detention practices at the border.
‘Technology like ours is playing an increasingly critical role across many sectors of society,’ the letter read. ‘What is clear to us is that our development and sales practices have yet to acknowledge the obligation that comes with this. Focusing solely on shareholder value is a race to the bottom, and one that we will not participate in.’
Amazon hasn’t commented on the letter.
) CEO Satya Nadella faced a similar backlash this week over the company’s $19.4 million contract with ICE through its government cloud services division, Azure Government.
soft cancel its contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immediately, including contracts with clients who support ICE,’ the letter read.”
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