An open letter reportedly signed by hundreds of Google and Amazon workers called on the two companies Tuesday to end a cloud services contract with Israel’s government and “end all ties” with the Israeli military.
Nearly 100 Google employees and more than 300 Amazon employees signed the letter, which was published in The Guardian, demanding an end to Project Nimbus. Israel’s government signed the roughly $1.2 billion contract with Google and Amazon Web Services earlier this year to provide cloud services for the country’s public sector and military.
The contract would allow for “further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on” Palestinian people, the workers argued. They also wrote that the cloud services technology “facilitates expansion” of Israel’s “illegal settlements” on territory claimed by Palestinians.
We are Google and Amazon workers. We condemn Project Nimbus | Anonymous Google and Amazon workers https://t.co/bHZIcRGDPD
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 12, 2021
“This contract was signed the same week that the Israeli military attacked Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – killing nearly 250 people, including more than 60 children,” the letter read.
“The technology our companies have contracted to build will make the systematic discrimination and displacement carried out by the Israeli military and government even crueler and deadlier for Palestinians,” the letter continued. (RELATED: Award-Winning Author Refuses To Work With Israeli Publishers In ‘Cultural Boycott’)
Neither the names of the workers who signed the letter nor their roles at Google and Amazon were published. “We are anonymous because we fear retaliation,” they wrote.
Google ended a contract with the Department of Defense to track individuals in drone footage following internal opposition. Amazon workers have called on the company to stop selling its facial recognition software to law enforcement.
In their letter, the Google and Amazon workers said their companies’ contracts with military and law enforcement groups represented a “disturbing pattern of militarization, lack of transparency and avoidance of oversight.”