Demonstrations against Amazon over support for Israeli apartheid regime technology

Protesters disrupted the keynote address at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) summit to draw attention to Amazon’s contracts with Israel and the monitoring tools it sells to the occupied country.

Motherboard reported that activists from several associations, including New York Communities for Change (NYCC), Make the Road NY, MediaJustice and M Power Chang (MPower Change) have joined forces to launch the #NoTechForApartheid and #NoTechFor ICE campaigns, which are related with the well-formed immigration and customs enforcement system in the United States. Abbreviation for “ICE” (ICE).

The No Technology for Apartheid campaign focused on Project Nimbus, a $ 1.2 billion cloud computing contract won by AWS and Google to standardize the Israeli government’s computer infrastructure within its borders.

The Apartheid No Technology campaign website says: “While the Israeli army bombed homes, clinics and schools in Gaza and in May 2021 threatened to evict Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem, the managers of Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud” signed a $ 1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology for the Israeli government and military By tackling the Israeli apartheid regime, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to monitor Palestinians and force them to take over their lands leaves. “

“Over the years, AWS has worked passionately with governments and businesses around the world to take advantage of the misery and violence these governments are causing.”

Ali Benjwani, senior research analyst at the Action Center for Racism and the Economy, called on Amazon to “stop taking advantage of violence around the world,” and said the platform “supports racist police actions, mass deportations” and war. “

The conference, which began Tuesday, was not the first AWS event disrupted by protesters trying to draw attention to what they see as the company’s unethical contracts. In 2019, protesters held a similar demonstration to raise awareness of the fact that Amazon was like the backbone of the ICE administration and helped fuel the immigration machine.

Despite years of protests and internal and external pressure, Amazon CEO Andy Gacy was determined to expand AWS ‘offerings to provide police departments with face-monitoring technology, and to create cloud services to provide information to immigration and government officials. supervisory tools have to intimidate and deport immigrants. .

“We are at a time when the police have truly lost legitimacy due to the way they treat communities of color across the country and the world,” said Maisha Hayes, director of campaign strategy. “Amazon is investing in getting as many of these contracts as possible because the surveillance and security industry is unfortunately remaining profitable. We hoped they were looking for technology to keep our communities safe … but we know that these technologies already put us at greater risk. place by collecting our information and passing it on to the police and army. “

Amazon is not alone in providing technology for controversial purposes (Reuters)

As for Amazon, it’s not only in providing the technology for controversial purposes; Alphabet is also involved in the Nimbus project. In October 2021, an anonymous group of Amazon and Google employees wrote a letter to the Guardian in which they called on companies to abandon the Nimbus project. .

And last June, Ed Vingus, a Google contributor, made a proposal to undo the contract as well, but it was in vain. “Google has a choice: Instead of making human rights violations possible, it should promote technology that has a positive impact on the world. Google can, and they should, be on the right side of history by launching the Nimbus project leaves. “

However, it may be clear that the Nimbus project is planned in such a way that it leaves a narrow window of time for intervention; Because these contracts are not only related to the construction of unethical monitoring tools, but also to the protection of the governments concerned against political pressure, The Times of Israel stated that the Nimbus project was developed in a way that protects it from possible boycotts related to human rights crimes against Palestinians In addition, details about the project are scarce.

According to Reuters, there will be 4 phases of the Nimbus project, as follows:

  • Acquisition and construction of cloud infrastructure
  • Plan government policy to migrate data to cloud infrastructure
  • Integration and migration to the cloud
  • Cloud Management and Optimization

Leave a Comment