Tech employees push Silicon Valley to put ethics before profit
"How tech employees are pushing Silicon Valley to put ethics before profit," 18 October 2018
The chorus of tech workers demanding American tech companies put ethics before profit is growing louder... In recent days, employees at Google and Microsoft have been pressuring company executives to drop bids for a $10 billion contract to provide cloud computing services to the Department of Defense. As part of the contract, known as JEDI, engineers would build cloud storage for military data; there are few public details about what else it would entail. But one thing is clear: The project would involve using artificial intelligence to make the US military a lot deadlier... Thousands of Google employees reportedly pressured the company to drop its bid for the project, and many had said they would refuse to work on it... On October 8, Google announced that it was pulling out of the running for the JEDI contract. Now Microsoft employees are pushing executives to do the same.
Employees at different tech companies are worried about different types of projects, but they do have one thing in common: a shared concern about government contracts, and the risk that government officials can use their technology to violate basic human rights.