Google workers demand the company stop selling its tech to police

A lot more than 1,600 Google staff are demanding the corporation “take genuine techniques to aid dismantle racism” and close its police contracts. In a letter that began circulating internally previous 7 days, employees wrote that they had been “disappointed to know that Google is nevertheless marketing to police forces, and advertises its relationship with law enforcement forces as somehow progressive.

“The racist legacy of police across the United States goes all the way again to its roots, when law enforcement forces emerged to guard the wealth gotten from slavery and genocide,” the letter reads. “We have a prolonged way to go to deal with the entire legacy of racism but to begin with — we really should not be in the business enterprise of profiting from racist policing. We should really not be in the small business of criminalizing Black existence even though we chant that Black Lives Make any difference.”

The letter comes a number of days immediately after company Main Govt Sundar Pichai declared Google was committing additional than $175 million to “support Black business enterprise entrepreneurs, startup founders, career seekers and builders.” Google is amid the quite a few tech firms that have spoken up in assist of the Black community due to the fact George Floyd was killed while in custody of Minneapolis police. But all those statements stand in stark distinction to those companies’ documents on the treatment of Black workforce and clients as nicely as how their solutions influence the Black community.

“We’re committed to function that helps make a significant difference to fight systemic racism, and our staff have made more than 500 product or service tips in new months, which we are reviewing,” Google spokesperson Cynthia Horiguchi reported in a statement. “On this one, we had been the initial important organization to decide, several years in the past, to not make facial recognition commercially available and we have quite clear AI Ideas that prohibit its use or sale for surveillance. We have longstanding phrases of use for typically offered computing platforms like Gmail, GSuite and Google Cloud System, and these merchandise will keep on being readily available for Governments and regional authorities, such as police departments, to use.”

In the letter, the employees, who simply call themselves Googlers in opposition to Racism, wrote that they were “disappointed” by the company’s response.

“The previous weeks have revealed us that addressing racism is not merely an situation of terms, but of steps taken to dismantle the true constructions that perpetuate it,” the letter reads. “While we as folks keep complicated but needed conversations with our loved ones, mates and friends, we are also unbelievably let down by our company’s response.”

Google workforce have waged a extended interior struggle in opposition to the company’s organization with law enforcement and federal government agencies with combined benefits. In 2018, staff members demanded the firm cancel — and some give up in protest of — its agreement giving artificial intelligence to the Section of Defense. At some point the organization announced that it would not re-up its marriage with the department when it was up for renewal. Nonetheless, when staff members caught wind of an effort and hard work to create a censored search engine for China, hundreds of them demanded Google close those people efforts. Although Pichai insisted there was not a product or service prepared for launch, he would not dedicate not to build “a instrument for surveillance and censorship in China” when questioned by users of Congress.

In the letter, Google employees specifically pointed to the company’s work with the Clarkstown Law enforcement Office in New York, which has been sued “multiple situations for illegal surveillance of Black Lives Subject organizers.”

“Why help the establishments liable for the knee on George Floyd’s neck to be more helpful organizationally?” the open letter to management browse.

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