USA: Employees urge tech companies to withdraw bids for $10 million contract with Department of Defense
Employees are increasing pressure on tech companies to withdraw from a bid for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract with the Department of Defense (DoD). Following DoD Chief John H. Gibson II's statement that the programme would seek to increase the "lethality of our department”, employees from Microsoft and Google have expressed public concern that government officials could use their technology to violate basic human rights. On 8 October 2018, Google announced that it was pulling out of the running for the JEDI contract. Microsoft employees wrote an open letter asking the company not to bid on the JEDI contract, expressing the need for clear ethical guidelines and meaningful accountability governing how we determine which uses of our technology are acceptable, and which are off the table.
We invited Microsoft to respond to the employee letter and articles below. In response, they sent a blog post by Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, which addresses the issues. This blog post is available below.