After decades of tech companies and the U.S. military overlapping in a variety of ways, it appears that the largest of them are ready to openly declare their desire to enhance the power of the state.
As Activist Post has covered, Google was the first to draw criticism from the public at large as well as their own employees from its plans to assist the Pentagon with Project Maven, which deployed Google’s artificial intelligence algorithms into war zones. Google eventually capitulated after many employees resigned in protest and an open letter was issued to prevent Google from using their technology as weapons of war. The writing should have been even more obviously on the wall the moment Google’s code of conduct removed its previous tagline “Don’t be Evil.”
Despite this recent history of pushback, Microsoft has now gone all-in with its latest declaration of subservience to military rule in a clear statement that “Microsoft will give the U.S. military access to ‘all the technology we create’.”
Not much wiggle room there, it would seem.
Microsoft is “going to provide the U.S. military with access to the best technology … all the technology we create. Full stop,” Brad Smith said Saturday during a panel at the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
As I noted in the title, it’s the following line that is truly stunning in either its willful ignorance or its glib dismissal of the millions of deaths (more than 20 million by some estimates) caused by the U.S. military throughout history, many of whom were civilians. Do these words alleviate your concern?
Smith said he wanted to quell such concerns. “We want Silicon Valley to know just how ethical and honorable a tradition the military has,” he said.
If Smith’s comments truly represent the company’s worldview, then we are in serious trouble. But seeing how Brad Smith is the company’s legal officer in charge of maintaining ethics within their corporate culture, it’s not looking good.
Microsoft already has come under fire for its plans to bid on the U.S. military’s JEDI system back in October.
In an article titled “An Open Letter to Microsoft: Don’t Bid on the US Military’s Project JEDI” published on the blogging platform Medium by a user named “Employees of Microsoft,” Microsoft employees asked the company’s leadership not to bid on the U.S. Military’s JEDI contract.
“We joined Microsoft to create a positive impact on people and society, with the expectation that the technologies we build will not cause harm or human suffering,” the open letter states. “Many Microsoft employees don’t believe that what we build should be used for waging war. When we decided to work at Microsoft, we were doing so in the hopes of ‘empowering every person on the planet to achieve more,’ not with the intent of ending lives and enhancing lethality.”
Because “ending lives and enhancing lethality” must be ethical and responsible, according to CLO Brad Smith.
Hopefully, Microsoft employees of conscience continue to swell in numbers and become more vocal about this outrageous commitment to use technology in the worst possible ways.
Nicholas West writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon for as little as $1 per month. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.