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Google employees refuse to work on border agency cloud contract

(Image credit: Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock)

Protests within the tech industry are gaining momentum and now Google employees are petitioning the search giant not to bid on a cloud contract with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

A new petition, which began circulating inside the company and on Medium, was created by a group of employees who called out immigration officials for “penetrating a system of abuse and malign neglect” at the US border.

The employees also highlighted the Trump administration's family separation policy as well as the recent deaths of immigrant children at the border as reasons why Google should end its work with CBP.

Just a few hours after the petition was released, hundreds of employees publicly signed the document to show the company how important this issue is to them.

CBP cloud computing contract

In the petition, the employees call on the company to end its work with CBP while also stating that they will not work on the contract if it is awarded to Google, saying:

“It has recently come to light that CBP is gearing up to request bids on a massive cloud computing contract. The winning cloud provider will be streamlining CBP’s infrastructure and facilitating its human rights abuses. 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 with any infrastructure, funding, or engineering resources, directly or indirectly, until they stop engaging in human rights abuses.”

This is just the latest in a series of protests within the tech industry as a whole and inside Google where employees have begun to question the moral implications of how their work will be used. Previously, Google employees successfully protested the company's plan to work alongside the US government on an AI system designed to analyze drone footage called Project Maven.

Google has yet to publicly respond to the petition but we'll keep following this story as it develops to see whether or not this latest protest ends up being a success as well.

Via The Verge