Google and Amazon workers condemn Project Nimbus

We are Google and Amazon workers. We condemn Project Nimbus

We are writing as Google and Amazon employees of conscience from diverse backgrounds. We believe that the technology we build should work to serve and uplift people everywhere, including all of our users. As workers who keep these companies running, we are morally obligated to speak out against violations of these core values. For this reason, we are compelled to call on the leaders of Amazon and Google to pull out of Project Nimbus and cut all ties with the Israeli military. So far, more than 90 workers at Google and more than 300 at Amazon have signed this letter internally. We are anonymous because we fear retaliation.

We have watched Google and Amazon aggressively pursue contracts with institutions like the US Department of Defense, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), and state and local police departments. These contracts are part of a disturbing pattern of militarization, lack of transparency and avoidance of oversight.

Continuing this pattern, our employers signed a contract called Project Nimbus to sell dangerous technology to the Israeli military and government. This contract was signed the

— source | 12 Oct 2021

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Amazon’s Investments in Israel Reveal Complicity in Settlements and Military Operations

On Prime Day, Amazon’s largest online shopping event, the company will be looking to beat its previous sales record of $10.4 billion. Increasingly, customers have grown critical of Amazon’s treatment of workers, union-busting activities, and partnerships with police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leading some to call for a boycott of Prime Day. What Amazon Prime members may not realize, however, is that Amazon is also aiding in the spread of military occupation abroad.

Amid Israel’s most recent deadly attacks on the Gaza Strip and ongoing displacement of Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah, Amazon Web Services (AWS), together with Google, recently signed a $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government. The deal, “Project Nimbus,” is a flagship project to provide a cloud services “ecosystem” for the Israeli public sector, for which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will be the primary beneficiary. Construction has already begun on three data server centers.

Amazon claims the deal will “empower” innovative startups and “fuel economic development across the country.” Left unsaid is that a key objective of Project Nimbus is Israeli

— source | Charmaine Chua, Jake Alimahomed-Wilson, Spencer Louis Potiker | Jun 22, 2021

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Ohio sues Google, seeks to declare the internet company a public utility

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a lawsuit asking a court to declare Google a public utility that should be regulated as such. “Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products – that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said in a statement. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.” The lawsuit, filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, is believed to be the first of its kind, Yost’s office said.

Specifically, the lawsuit seeks a legal declaration that Google is a “common carrier,” like phone, gas and electric companies, which must provide its services to anyone willing to pay its fee. In lieu of a fee, Yost argues in the complaint, Google collects user data that is monetized primarily by selling targeted advertisements.

Yost argues Google should therefore not be able to prioritize placement of its own products, services and websites on its search results pages.

— source | Jackie Borchardt | Jun 8, 2021

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The worker objected to Google’s Israel military contract got transfer

Google told her to move to Brazil. More than 500 Google workers have rallied behind a colleague who alleges she is being pushed out of her job because of her activism within the company, the latest flare-up between the tech giant and employees who speak out against its business practices and workplace conditions. The workers have signed a petition accusing Google leadership of “unjustly retaliating” against Ariel Koren, a product marketing manager at Google for Education, for voicing criticism of Project Nimbus, a $1.2-billion contract Google and Amazon Web Services entered into with the Israeli military and government.

— source | Mar 15, 2022

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Use of Google Analytics and data transfers to the United States

Google Analytics provides statistics on website traffic. After receiving complaints from the NOYB association, the CNIL, in cooperation with its European counterparts, analysed the conditions under which the data collected through this service is transferred to the United States. []–The CNIL considers that these transfers are illegal and orders a French website manager to comply with the GDPR and, if necessary, to stop using this service under the current conditions.

Google Analytics is a service that can be integrated by websites such as online sale sites in order to measure the number of visits by Internet users. In this context, a unique identifier is assigned to each visitor. This identifier (which constitutes personal data) and the associated data are transferred by Google to the United States.

The CNIL received several complaints from the NOYB association concerning the transfer to the United States of data collected during visits to websites using Google Analytics. In total, 101 complaints were filed by NOYB in the 27 EU Member States and the three other European Economic Area (EEA) states against 101 data controllers allegedly

— source | 10 Feb 2022

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How Israel is using Google Ads to whitewash its record

The Israeli foreign ministry recently created a webpage to smear Amnesty International, the UK-based human rights group that last week issued a damning report titled “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity”.

The page, which sits on an official Israeli government URL and includes the foreign ministry’s branding, is a repository of links to media articles that accuse Amnesty of smearing Israel. It appears to be a hastily created attempt to sway international audiences and dampen the impact of Amnesty’s report. It is at the very least propaganda, and at worst disinformation.

Promoted via Google Ads and appearing at the top of search results when searching for Amnesty International, the page calls Amnesty a “radical organisation” whose report “ticks all the boxes of the definition of modern antisemitism against the State of Israel”.

Accusing anyone who criticises Israel of being antisemitic is a classic propaganda technique, one designed to induce guilt and to silence those calling out Israeli human rights

— source | Marc Owen Jones | 10 Feb 2022

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Google trackers are in 97% of Indian websites

Google trackers are in 97% of Indian websites, study finds. The number of android apps asking for camera and microphone permissions on smartphones has increased from 45% to 68% and 28% to 54%, respectively, in the last five years, according to a study by data security and privacy firm Arrka titled ‘State of data privacy of Indian mobile apps and websites’. The study involved 201 Indian mobile apps and websites from 100 organisations across 25 industries. Arrka tracked various privacy parameters over five years. Here are some of its findings. Google is the single largest third party with whom data is being shared, followed by Facebook. Google’s trackers were present in 97% of the websites and Facebook’s in 55%. Around 42% android apps share data with Google, and 25% with Facebook. A possible reason for this could be that organisations are providing newer services/features based on these permissions.

— source | Jan 31, 2022

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Meta, Google grilled over misinformation and cyberbullying, Twitter next

An Australian government committee on Thursday grilled Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google about the spread of misinformation and cyberbullying across their platforms. Google’s director of government affairs and public policy, Lucinda Longcroft, was asked by the committee about misleading Covid-19 information on YouTube, and was specifically shown at least nine United Australia Party (UAP) ads containing Covid misinformation. Twitter was set to appear before the committee on Friday.

Meta representatives also appeared before the committee and were grilled about the death and rape threats directed towards Australian presenter Erin Molan and her young daughter on Facebook. Molan had testified earlier that she submitted a request on Facebook for those threats to be removed from the platform. “In response to the request, Facebook sent an automated response that the content would remain online”.

— source | Jan 20, 2022

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Google Analytics declared illegal in the EU.

When the Privacy Shield legislation was invalidated in 2020, this had far-reaching consequences for US online services operating in Europe: They were no longer allowed to transfer data of European citizens to the US as this would make data of European citizens vulnerable to American mass surveillance – a clear violation of the European GDPR. However, the Silicon Valley tech industry largely ignored the ruling. Now, the Austrian Data Protection Authority strikes the same chord as the European court when declaring Privacy Shield as invalid: It has decided that the use of Google Analytics violates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google is “subject to surveillance by US intelligence services and can be ordered to disclose data of European citizens to them”. Therefore, the data of European citizens may not be transferred across the Atlantic.

— source | 2022-01-19

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How Google advances the Zionist colonization of Palestine

In October, software engineers at Google and Amazon wrote an anonymous open letter objecting to Project Nimbus – a $1.2 billion contract that would provide these companies’ services to the Israeli state – because of the harm it would bring to Palestinians. The letter also called for a rejection of “future contracts that will harm our users,” including contracts with “any and all militarized organizations in the US and beyond.”

Yet these companies’ complicity with Israel – rooted in their commitment to US empire – goes far beyond direct contracts with the Israeli state. US computing companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook contribute to Israel’s colonial project through multiple avenues.

I have previously examined Microsoft’s commitments to Israel, and I now turn to Google’s.

Google invests in and acquires Israeli startup companies that were built on efforts to terrorize and dispossess Palestinians. More than a service provider to the Israeli state,

— source | Yarden Katz | Dec 9, 2021

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