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30 Oct 2020

Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg

Google defends CBP work after employees question contract

A top Google executive defended a contract with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency after employees at the internet giant asked about the deal.

Workers raised the issue after a report last week sparked concern that Google technology may be helping the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies. The deal doesn’t include any work on border enforcement, Thomas Kurian, chief executive officer of Google’s cloud business, told employees... “We are not working on any projects associated with immigration enforcement at the southern border,” Kurian said. “We have spoken directly with Customs and Border Patrol, and they have confirmed that they are not testing our products for those purposes.”

... That’s not good enough for some activists. “We simply cannot take CBP’s word for it. We’ve all seen what CBP is capable of doing at the border under the guise of ‘security,’” said Jacinta Gonzalez, senior campaign director for Mijente, a national organization that opposes Trump’s border policies. “For Google employees to take these words as evidence is merely an excuse not to do a full and thorough investigation.”