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Reports: Google Employees Demand Company Stop Selling Tech To Police

More than 1,600 Google employees have signed an internal petition demanding that the company stop selling its technology to police departments, according to reports.

The petition, which was started by a group of Google employees called "Googlers Against Racism", reportedly urges Google CEO Sundar Pichai to stop selling the company's technology to police forces.

The internal petition by Google's employees comes amid intensified protests in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody and the campaign #BlackLivesMatter that arose with the protests seeking racial justice.

The employees reportedly said in the letter they were disappointed that Google is still selling technology to police forces and advertising its connection with them as progressive, instead of severing ties with them.

The letter criticized Google for citing the New York-based Clarkstown Police Department as a featured user of Google Cloud, noting that the agency that "has been sued multiple times for illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter."

The Google employees' dissent comes after Amazon and Microsoft said recently that they will not sell their facial recognition technology to police agencies. Amazon announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition technology, Rekognition, to give ample time to the governments to implement stronger regulations for racial equality and justice.

Google employees have raised their voice against the company's participation in controversial deals earlier too.

Google, in October 2018, decided not to compete in Pentagon's multi-billion dollar JEDI cloud computing contract, saying that the project might not align with its artificial intelligence or AI principles. Google's AI principles prevent the use of its AI software in weapons and services that violate international norms for surveillance and human rights.

In April 2018, thousands of Google employees urged Pichai to pull out of Project Maven, a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to analyze video imagery used by military drones. Google later said in June that it will not allow its artificial-intelligence products to be used in military weapons.

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