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Tech workers should shine a light on the industry’s secretive work with the military

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses how tech workers can use their access to information to force change in their companies' secretive military contracts, using the examples of the #CancelMaven campaign against Google's Project Maven contract and the ongoing No Tech for Apartheid campaign against Google and Amazon's Project Nimbus contract with the Israeli government.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Tech Workers' Role in Forcing Change

1. What tools do tech workers have to force change in their companies' military contracts?

  • Tech workers have access to information about their companies' military contracts that the companies try to keep secret from the public.
  • Leaking this information and organizing sustained campaigns with external partners can put pressure on companies to cancel or rethink these contracts, as seen in the #CancelMaven campaign against Google's Project Maven.

2. What are the risks and challenges tech workers face in taking a stand against their companies' military contracts?

  • Tech workers risk losing their jobs, health insurance, visas, and homes if they take a stand against their companies' military contracts.
  • Companies have become more resistant to worker demands for transparency and accountability, as seen in Google's firing of workers involved in the No Tech for Apartheid campaign.

[02] The Project Nimbus Contract

1. What is the Project Nimbus contract?

  • Project Nimbus is a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon, and the Israeli government to provide cloud computing infrastructure and AI capabilities to the Israeli military and government.
  • Some details about the contract have been leaked, but much about it remains unknown to the public.

2. How could leaking more information about Project Nimbus help the No Tech for Apartheid campaign?

  • Leaking additional information about the specifics of the Project Nimbus contract that is not currently known to the public could increase the pressure on Google and Amazon to reconsider the contract, similar to how the #CancelMaven campaign was successful.
  • However, the author cautions that leaking information is a personal decision with significant risks, and advises workers to carefully consider the consequences before taking such action.
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