Amazon staff to Bezos: Stop selling tech to law enforcement, Palantir

Jeff Bezos stands next to the copper lining for a BE-4 engine nozzle in his Blue Origin rocket factory. (credit: Eric Berger)

In an open letter published by Gizmodo, Amazon staff have called on CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement and government agencies, due to the potential that the tech is used to "harm the most marginalized." This follows similar demands from Microsoft employees and Google workers over those companies' contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Defense, respectively.

Further, the letter demands that Amazon stop selling AWS cloud services to data analytics firm Palantir. Palantir has numerous government contracts and is involved in the operation of ICE's detention and deportation programs. Starting in May of this year, these programs have implemented a policy of systematically separating children of asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants from their parents, housing them in tent cities and cages. The letter's signatories "refuse to build the platform that powers ICE" and "refuse to contribute to tools that violate human rights."

Additionally, the authors call on Amazon to implement transparency and accountability measures to detail how Amazon's services are used by law enforcement agencies.

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