Employees of Google and Amazon published today (Tuesday) an article in the British Guardian newspaper in which they ask the management of the two companies to withdraw from their involvement in the Israeli government’s cloud project Nimbus. “We cannot support our employer’s decision to provide the Israeli army and government with technology that will be used to harm Palestinians,” the workers wrote.
According to the authors, the letter of opposition to the project was signed internally by 90 Google employees and more than 300 at Amazon. Employees have remained anonymous because they fear a backlash that will harm them, they write. Employees claim that Amazon and Google’s involvement in the Nimbus project continues a troubling trend from tech giants collaborating with global military and government agencies, such as the US Department of Defense. “The agreement was signed the week that the Israeli army attacked the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, killing nearly 250 people, including 60 children, “he said.
According to those workers, the technology provided by Amazon and Google will make Israel’s policy more brutal. “This technology enables continuous monitoring and collection of illegal information about Palestinians.”
Last April, the Accountant General of the Ministry of Finance announced the selection of Amazon AWS and Google Cloud as winners of the Nimbus tender, in which they will provide cloud infrastructure to government ministries, the IDF and local authorities during the next seven years, with the possibility of further extensions up to 23 years.
The Nimbus project is considered the largest IT tender to date in Israel, and as part of it, Google and Amazon are expected to build cloud sites in the country at an estimated cost of NIS 4 billion, so that the information will be kept within the limits of Israel. borders. But until the two companies complete the establishment of the sites in the country, government information will be stored on their sites in Europe, a matter of interest. Controversial.
However, it must be remembered that Amazon and Google are large companies that together employ around 1.5 million employees, so even if 400 employees signed the document, it is a very insignificant minority who should not influence decisions or the business conduct. This is also not the first time that employees of the tech giants, and in particular Google and Amazon, have called for a boycott and cancellation of contracts with Israel. Petitions in this spirit by workers, including Jewish workers, were signed during the last Operation Guard the Wall in Gaza in May. Half a year later, the vocal minority in society is trying to provoke this call again and direct it specifically to the nimbus issue.
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