Kyle Perisic, DCNF
Amazon employees sent an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos Friday protesting the company’s contract with Immigration and Customs Enforce (ICE), comparing it to IBM’s contract with Adolf Hitler during the second world war.
“As ethically concerned Amazonians, we demand a choice in what we build, and a say in how it is used. We learn from history, and we understand how IBM’s systems were employed in the 1940s to help Hitler,” the letter states. “IBM did not take responsibility then, and by the time their role was understood, it was too late. We will not let that happen again. The time to act is now.”
Holocaust experts claim that IBM directly supplied the Nazis with technology that assisted operating the Auschwitz and Treblinka concentration camps, The Independent reports.
The employees called on the company to “stop selling facial recognition services to law enforcement” and “stop providing infrastructure to Palantir and any other Amazon partners who enable ICE.”
The letter comes after the ACLU revealed and condemned Amazon’s sale of facial recognition to law enforcement, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported May 22.
“Once a dangerous surveillance system like this is turned against the public, the harm can’t be undone. Particularly in the current political climate, we need to stop supercharged surveillance before it is used to track protesters, target immigrants and spy on entire neighborhoods. We’re blowing the whistle before it’s too late,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director for the ACLU of California, said in a statement provided to TheDCNF in May.
ICE has come under public scrutiny for the now-former policy of placing children in separate facilities away from adults when they are caught illegally entering the country at the southern border.
Activists have blamed President Donald Trump for the policy, but it was in place during the Obama administration. The policy aimed to help stop human trafficking and since many illegal aliens do not keep proper documentation, its difficult to know if the child is with their parent or human trafficker, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“We have a statutory responsibility that we take seriously to protect alien children from human smuggling, trafficking and other criminal actions while enforcing our immigration laws,” Nielsen said on Monday in a statement on the child separation policy. “We also separate a parent and child if the adult is suspected of human trafficking.”
Trump ended the policy with an executive order on Wednesday that states parents and children who are caught cross the southern border illegally can stay in the same holding area when they are detained.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Follow Kyle on Twitter @KylePerisic
Send tips to [email protected]