Amazon reiterates “unwavering support” for US law enforcement, military despite worker complaints
In a world of growing corporate power and artificial intelligence, technology giants such as Amazon are collaborating with law enforcement and the military to increasing stakes.
While technology giants such as Microsoft are negotiating with internal pressure from workers and staff resisting company support of oppressive government policies, Amazon has declared unequivocal support for law enforcement and the military.
At the Aspen Security Forum on July 20 in Colorado, Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector of Amazon Web Services declared, “We are committed to our customer, and we are unwaveringly committed to the U.S. government and the governments we work with around the world.”
Recently, Amazon workers sent a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos to protest the sale of Rekognition, facial recognition technology, to law enforcement. The letter cites the Department of Homeland Security’s “increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants.” Workers worry the software will be used to further target and oppress non-white groups.
In regards to the internal criticism, Carlson reinforced Amazon’s support for law enforcement, stating, “Employees need a voice… I can’t speak for any other company, but we want to work with our government. We feel compelled… We believe government should have the same capability — our war fighters out there in the field, our civil servants — should have those same capabilities.”
When asked if Amazon has set any boundaries in working of law enforcement, Carlson responded, “We have not drawn any lines there… We are unwaveringly in support of our law enforcement, defense, and intelligence community.”
Carlson continues to say that while Amazon cannot guarantee it knows how Amazon’s technology is being utilized by the U.S. government, cutting-edge technology will always be available to the United States in the case needed against “adversaries.”
While Microsoft, Salesforce, and other technology companies have not publically declared “unwavering support” for the government, like Amazon, many are moving to the homeland security space to benefit from the snowballing profits of working with the Defense Department.