Thousands Of Google Employees REVOLT, Demand Company Stop Supporting US War Machine

Thursday, April 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

More than 3,100 Google employees are calling for the cancellation of a controversial drone program and saying that they want out of the business of war.

By John Vibes
April 5, 2018

Last month, a press leak revealed that Google has been working with the U.S. Department of Defense on a drone program called “Project Maven,” which is being developed to scan images in drone footage and identify targets.

Prior to it being reported in the news, this project was unknown to most Google employees, even those who were working on different aspects of the project.

The company was so secretive about the project and kept their employees so compartmentalized, that thousands of talented engineers had no clue that they were aiding a war effort. Now, many of those employees are speaking out, and demanding that the company cancel its work on the controversial program.

This week, a letter that was signed by over 3,100 Google employees, addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, stated that they did not want to be involved “in the business of war.”

We believe that Google should not be in the business of war. Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology. Google is implementing Project Maven, a customized AI surveillance engine that uses “Wide Area Motion Imagery” data captured by US Government drones to detect vehicles and other objects, track their motions, and provide results to the Department of Defense. Recently, Googlers voiced concerns about Maven internally.

Amid growing fears of bias ed and weaponized AI, Google is already struggling to keep the public’s trust. By entering into this contract, Google will join the ranks of companies like Palantir, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. The argument that other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn’t make this any less risky for Google.

Google’s unique history, its motto Don’t Be Evil , and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart. We cannot outsource the moral responsibility of our technologies t o third parties . Google’s stated values make this clear: Every one of our users is trusting us. Never jeopardize that. Ever. This contract puts Google’s reputation at risk and stands in direct opposition to our core values. Building this technology to assi st the US Government in military surveillance – and potentially lethal outcomes – is not acceptable.

The letter ends by demanding that the company immediately cancel the project and also “Draft, publicize, and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

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