Google employees are calling on the tech giant to ban the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other law enforcement entities including ICE, from accessing the Google Cloud Platform. The Google staffers — who are urging other tech companies to join them in hindering cloud access for law enforcement agencies — claim that U.S. law enforcement has been “terrorizing” immigrants, and compared providing its services to “IBM’s role working with the Nazis during the Holocaust.”
“Never Again,” reads the Holocaust-inspired title of the Google petition, accompanied by the hashtag, “#NoGCPforCBP” [No Google Cloud Platform for Customs and Border Protection]. The petition was published on Wednesday in a report by Medium.
“US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is currently engaged in human rights abuses at the US Southern border,” begins the petition, which goes on to compare enforcing U.S. immigration law to the mass-murder of Jews in World War II.
As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 700 Google employees appear to have signed the petition to blacklist U.S. law enforcement entities, including ICE, which suffered a targeted attack in San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday after a shooter began firing multiple rounds at two of its facilities.
“We have only to look to IBM’s role working with the Nazis during the Holocaust to understand the role that technology can play in automating mass atrocity,” affirms the Google petition, conflating U.S. law enforcement with Hitler’s genocidal Nazi regime.
“In working with CBP, ICE, or ORR [the Office of Refugee Resettlement], Google would be trading its integrity for a bit of profit, and joining a shameful lineage,” claim the tech giant’s employees.
This is not the first time Google staffers have taken action against America’s law enforcement and military.
“In January of 2017 thousands of Googlers, including our executives, joined together to protest the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban,” notes the petition of having mobilized in the past against a non-existent Trump policy.
“It has recently come to light that CBP is gearing up to request bids on a massive cloud computing contract,” continues the petition, which goes on to claim that whichever company provides CBP with cloud services “will be streamlining CBP’s infrastructure and facilitating its human rights abuses.”
“It’s time to stand together again and state clearly that we will not work on any such contract,” state the Google employees. “We demand that Google publicly commit not to support CBP, ICE, or ORR with any infrastructure, funding, or engineering resources, directly or indirectly, until they stop engaging in human rights abuses.”
The petition also suggests that Google working with U.S. law enforcement would be an act of hypocrisy, as the company has “pledged to create a diverse, inclusive, and psychologically safe workplace for all its workers, including immigrants and Latinx people,” who are, according to the petition, are being “terrorized by CBP and ICE.”
“The time to say NO is now. We refuse to be complicit,” affirms the Google staffers. “It is unconscionable that Google, or any other tech company, would support agencies engaged in caging and torturing vulnerable people. We stand with workers and advocates across the industry who are demanding that the tech industry refuse to provide the infrastructure for mass atrocity.”