French Macron neocolonial drone warfare in Africa


This 25 December 2019 video from Kenya says about itself:

WTF?! France Launches “WEAPONISED Drones” In West Africa’s Sahel Desert?!

France has launched weaponised drones in the Sahel desert. All in the same month that West African nations “pulled out” of the CFA?!

Donald Trump’s Iraq war to ‘grab oil’


This video from the USA says about itself:

Uncovered: The War on Iraq • FULL DOCUMENTARY • BRAVE NEW FILMS (2004)

The George W. Bush administration intentionally deceived the American people in order to justify going to war in Iraq in 2003.

Using a wealth of different sources, Robert Greenwald’s 2004 film investigates the motives and pretexts of the administration of former President George W. Bush for going to war in Iraq after 9/11.

Greenwald’s film dissects the different catalysts leading to the war, from the media’s treatment of the issue to the practice of “data mining”. A panel of experts lend their voices to this examination, including CIA analysts, a former CIA director, previous ambassadors and a weapons inspector.

3:33 Just one day after the September eleventh attacks, the Bush administration began its plans for the invasion of Iraq, claiming the country had possession of nuclear weapons; despite a complete lack of evidence.

7:11 The Bush Administration rounded up people who could create talking points for the invasion of Iraq. Those who raised questions against them were simply told to “sit down and shut up”.

11:50 The Bush Administration edited and censored the official National Intelligence Estimate, modifying the meanings of revealing facts that would damage their facade.

14:15 Despite the claims that the war in Iraq was part of the war on terror, there are no real connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. In fact, they were even adversaries.

17:42 The CIA’s so-called defector, Ahmed Chalabi, was a political exile from his own country. For Ahmed, the war was simply a way back into Iraq.

23:08 At the 2003 State of the Union speech, Bush distorted and lied left and right, breaking national law.

29:10 Bush’s claims of Hussein’s uranium deal with Africa were not only untrue, but vengeful – and very nearly deadly – actions were taken against those who spoke out.

36:06 In Secretary of State Powell’s address to the United Nations we were shown photos of so called “Chemical Bunkers” that Hussein was apparently using to produce biological weapons, and once again: there was no evidence to support these claims.

45:23 Essentially all information regarding weapons of mass destruction came from one sole source, and that source was the Pentagon.

53:05 Taking a look back in time, we begin to see suspicious conflics between what was said then, and before the war.

56:25 The United States spends billions on their search for nothing, while refusing to release an informed cost estimate.

59:12 David Kay chronicles his extensive study and search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and how he found nothing but lies.

1:06:42 For those behind the war, war comes first, not last. For them, The United States’ military power should be used whenever trouble arises; and wherever there’s profit to be made.

1:14:00 War is a blunt tool that doesn’t work, it has tarnished our image overseas, created countless more terrorists and ruined governments. It is our job as Americans to speak out against the abuse of power, and question everything.

BRAVE NEW FILMS: Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films are at the forefront of the fight to create a just America. Using new media and internet video campaigns, Brave New Films has created a quick-strike capability that informs the public, challenges corporate media with the truth, and motivates people to take action on social issues nationwide.

And now, after George W Bush’s Iraq war, Donald Trump’s Iraq war. War ‘to grab oil‘, as Trump himself said.

From daily News Line in Britain:

US Drone Carrying Missiles Crashes On Farms In Iraq

13th August 2019

US AIRCRAFT are flying over Iraqi territory collecting intelligence on the country’s popular forces, a senior Iraqi expert said, adding that a drone that crashed this week was on a mission to raid Hashd al-Shaabi (the Iraqi popular resistance forces).

Hashd al-Shaabi is an official branch of the armed forces of the Iraqi government in Baghdad, with which the USA has diplomatic relations.

Kazzem al-Haaj told the al-Ma’aloumeh news website on Sunday that violation of Iraq’s airspace by US forces is nothing new.

US drones have always collected intelligence on Hashd al-Shaabi forces and the areas they control, as well as the regions where the terrorists are deployed to give them protection and security,’ he added.

Al-Haaj pointed out that the US spy flights come as American army troops have widened moves and stretched their presence towards Syria.

The US spy drone which crashed in Northwestern Baghdad last Tuesday was carrying missiles.

An informed Iraqi source told the Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that this surveillance drone, which was armed with missiles, crashed in the farming al-Rezwaniyeh region in Northwestern Baghdad near the Iraqi capital’s international airport.

Asked whether it had come under attack, the source ruled this out, and [said] that it had probably crashed due to a technical malfunction.

Meanwhile, the Arabic-language Boratha news website quoted a military expert as saying that the US was forced to confirm reports of the drone crash two days later.

He noted that the Americans’ claim that the drone was unharmed contradicts its malfunction, and strengthens speculation that it was attacked by electronic warfare tools which made it lose its return route and crash near Baghdad.

The revelation that the aircraft was armed with missiles has grabbed media attention as there are still unanswered questions about another air raid on an Iraqi popular forces military base last month.

An ‘unidentified, unmanned drone bombed the Al-Shuhada base of the Hashd al-Shaabi in Amerli region at dawn on July 19, wounding two people,’ the Iraqi military said in a statement.

The Arabic-language al-Etejah news channel quoted special sources in Nineveh province as saying that just prior to the Amerli attack, a US spy plane conducted reconnaissance operations against the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army forces over Sanjar mountain and the Southern areas of the region.

CIA killing people with drones


This 10 March 2019 video says about itself:

Civilian deaths by US drone strikes will no longer be reported

President Donald Trump has reversed a 2016 policy that requires US intelligence to report the number of civilians killed in US drone strikes.

Knack weekly in Belgium reported on 7 June 2017 on the long-distance killing of people thousands of miles away by drones piloted from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia in the USA. The Trump administration made these drone killings even worse.

Translated from the report, interviewing an ex-CIA employee:

A colleague killed a man and spared his child. But then he saw how the child walked back, and put his father’s body parts back into the form of a human body.

Google, censorship, militarism, abuse and ‘ethics washing’


This video from the USA says about itself:

Organizing resistance to Internet censorship

On January 16, 2018, the World Socialist Web Site will video livestream a discussion on Internet censorship, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and WSWS International Editorial Board Chairperson David North. WSWS reporter Andre Damon will moderate the discussion.

The webinar will explore the political context of the efforts to censor the Internet and abolish net neutrality, examine the pretexts used to justify the suppression of free speech (i.e., “fake news”), and discuss political strategies to defend democratic rights. Hedges and North will also field questions from on-line listeners.

… Andre Damon has written extensively on Google’s censorship of left wing, anti-war, and progressive web sites.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Again unrest at Google, now due to the composition of the ethical advisory board

In a year, Google has had to deal with dissatisfaction with cooperation with the Pentagon, a censored search engine for the Chinese market and the covering up of sexual abuse. And a fourth issue has been added.

There is internal and external criticism of the composition of a newly appointed advisory council for ethical issues. This council must advise the company on ethical dilemmas in the field of artificial intelligence, which in recent years has become central to the strategy of the tech giant.

The company announced last week that eight experts will advise the company on what Google‘s head of legal affairs call the “most complex challenges”. Facial recognition was mentioned as an example. In particular, the appointment of Kay Coles James, the president of a US American conservative think tank, causes resistance.

An open letter has been published in which Google is called upon to withdraw the appointment of Coles James, who is leading The Heritage Foundation. “This organization is seen as extremely conservative”, says US expert Victor Vlam. “They help to give ideological meaning to the policy of Republican politicians. The organization argues for conservative judges.”

The letter, according to the makers, was signed by more than 1,200 Google employees … and a further 188 people from outside of Google – including those from academia or working at other Silicon Valley companies. Tech site The Verge writes on the basis of sources that internally, both the Google bosses and Coles James get criticism. Employees would describe her as “intolerant”.

“A political signal”

Google is known for its warm relationship with the Democratic party

According to Vlam, her appointment can be seen as a signal by Google to the Trump government that their positions are being taken seriously. Vlam: “The Democrats are increasingly critical of Silicon Valley and so it is important to get contacts with Republicans.”

According to opponents, Coles James is anti-transgender, anti-LGB and anti-immigrant. They find proof of this in a number of tweets. In one of them, she criticizes the so-called Equality Act (a law to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, eg, at work and when getting housing). …

In another twitter message, she announced that her organization would criticize the definition of gender identity as adopted by the United Nations. And in a third tweet, she supports President Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency: “We have a crisis near our border“, she writes, among other things.

She is not the only one who has been questioned. Another member of the advisory board is also the chairman of a corporation that develops drones. Devices that were central in a major discussion last year about collaboration between the internet giant and the US military.

Not the right place

In the meantime, unrest has also arisen within the advisory board itself. Behavioral economist and privacy researcher Alessandro Acquisti decided to withdraw last week. In a message on Twitter he said that “this is not the right place for me to do this important work”. According to a fourth member of the council, professor Joanna Bryson, even worse things are going on with other members of the council.

Jeroen van den Hoven, professor of ethics and technology at [Dutch] Technical University Delft, … believes in general that a well thought-out approach is lacking when appointing these types of councils. “Everyone is an ethicist in the field of artificial intelligence.”

“I think this resembles ethics washing [like greenwashing, pinkwashing, etc.]: an attempt to do something with ethics, but which has been carried out incorrectly”, says Van den Hoven. “Ethics and trust is not something that you can arrange or that is for sale. In my opinion, this is too little too late.” …

Google did not want to answer questions from the NOS about this case.

Irish peace activists against US Afghan-killing drones


This 20215 video says about itself:

Fly Kites Not Drones Introduction – What is an armed drone?

This animation from http://www.flykitesnotdrones.org introduces the idea of armed drones and how they effect people in Afghanistan and around the world, to be used in combination with the education pack from Afghan Peace Volunteers, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, Quaker Peace & Social Witness, The Drone Campaign Network and Pax Christi UK.

The USA’s Council on Foreign Relations tally assesses that 500 drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed 3,674 people

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, March 22, 2019

Fly kites not drones: anti-war protesters to gather in Galway in protest against US drone attacks

ANTI-WAR protesters are set to gather at Salthill Prom in Galway on Sunday to “fly a kite for peace” in protest against US drone attacks on Afghanistan.

Sunday’s action is the second year the event has taken place and is part of a peace initiative organised by the Fly Kites Not Drones campaign, with similar events held across Europe.

It aims to highlight the devastating impact of military drones in Afghanistan where between 3,952 and 5,353 drone strikes have been confirmed, killing at least 3,923, at least 150 being civilians and 36 children.

Galway County school, Scoil Naisiunta Leitir Meallain, has opened its doors for an educational programme as part of the peace initiative, organising a creative project for children.

Organisers said the project hailed from Afghanistan and its tradition of kite flying.

“The beauty of this Afghani custom, where a kite catches the wind, was used by the “Fly Kites Not Drones” initiative to highlight the contrasting devastation caused by US killer drones.

“Also, the lives of the people holding the string can be very different. In Afghanistan, the perfect blue skies children would use to fly kites are now feared because they are also perfect for armed drones seeking targets.”

CIA drones killing civilians OK, Trump decides


This 2 July 2016 video says about itself:

US downplays civilian drone fatalities in new report

The White House has released its report on the number of civilians killed by drone strikes during its two terms in office. The report says they conducted 473 strikes killing as many as 2,500 people labeled as combatants and also taking the lives of up to 116 civilians.

It only applies to areas the US does not consider itself in active combat, so excludes Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane reports from Washington, DC.

From the BBC today, about the USA:

Trump revokes Obama rule on reporting drone strike deaths

President Donald Trump has revoked a policy set by his predecessor requiring US intelligence officials to publish the number of civilians killed in drone strikes outside of war zones.

As the video says, these official numbers of civilians killed were probably just the tip of the iceberg.

The 2016 executive order was brought in by then-President Barack Obama, who was under pressure to be more transparent.

The Trump administration said the rule was “superfluous” and distracting.

The order applied to the CIA, which has carried out drone strikes in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. …

What was the rule?

It required the head of the CIA to release annual summaries of US drone strikes and assess how many died as a result.

Mr Trump’s executive order does not overturn reporting requirements on civilian deaths set for the military by Congress.

There have been 2,243 drone strikes in the first two years of the Trump presidency, compared with 1,878 in Mr Obama’s eight years in office, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a UK-based think tank.

What is the reaction?

Lawmakers and rights groups have criticised Mr Trump’s decision, saying it could allow the CIA to conduct drone strikes without accountability.

“The Trump administration’s action is an unnecessary and dangerous step backwards on transparency and accountability for the use of lethal force, and the civilian casualties they cause,” Rita Siemion of Human Rights First told AFP news agency.

‘Google stops Pentagon drone killing collaboration’, protesters’ victory


This 21 May 2018 video from the USA is called Web Browser To War Monger – Project Maven’s Drones Take Aim Via Google.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Google stops controversial cooperation with United States armed forces’

Google is pulling the plug from their controversial collaboration with the Pentagon. The Internet giant and the US Department of Defense are working together on Project Maven, analyzing video images of drones. But the contract that runs until the end of 2019 will not be renewed. Reports on this include The New York Times.

The project is controversial because there is a fear that the data obtained will be used to determine, for example, who should be killed during military missions. Google says that will not happen, but critics doubt that Google can prevent it from happening. The company provided the artificial intelligence to analyze the drone images.

Google did not comment on the media reports about the discontinuation of the collaboration.

Division

At Google, the project led to internal division. According to techsite Gizmodo, at least twelve people were resigning because of the project. An internal petition yielded thousands of signatures and a letter (.pdf) was sent to CEO Sundar Pichai. In the letter, Google employees say that the company should not engage in war and they want the project to be stopped.

If Google would have continued with Project Maven, then, according to military news site Defense One, it would have had a chance of winning a $ 10 billion contract with the Department of Defense. Amazon and Microsoft are also in the race for the contract according to the news site.

Google says it will not renew Project Maven—but collaboration with Pentagon will continue: here.

GOOGLE BOYCOTT A group of influential engineers at Google earlier this year refused to work on a cutting-edge security tool that would allow the company to compete for military contracts. [Bloomberg]

Hundreds of Google employees have protested the company’s moves to build a censored search engine in China, the New York Times reported Friday. The Times article follows an August 1 article by the Intercept reporting that the company has secretly devoted a team of engineers and developers to constructing a search engine that would comply with China’s strict regime of Internet censorship: here.

Google’s role in drone murder condemned


A Reaper military drone

By Andre Damon in the USA:

Academics protest Google’s role in drone murder

18 May 2018

Three prominent technology scholars published an open letter Monday, which has now received over 900 signatures, condemning Google’s collaboration with the Pentagon’s illegal “targeted killing” program.

The academics published their letter in support of over 3,100 Google employees who issued their own open letter last month protesting the company’s participation in a Pentagon program called Project Maven, designed to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to analyze footage collected by US military drones.

The starting point of the letter, said Lucy Suchman, a professor of anthropology of science and technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, and one of the co-authors of the statement, is the essential illegality of the US government’s targeted killing program.

The US drone murder program is based on “extrajudicial killing that is not accountable either to US or international law”, Suchman told the World Socialist Web Site Thursday.

“It’s clear that the people killed through this program are targeted through profiling and guilt by association.” She noted that, according to one study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, only 1.6 percent of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan between 2001 and 2013 were specifically identified individually.

Lucy Suchman

“This is summary execution of people who have received no due process whatsoever”, said Dr. Suchman. “This is not in combat zones, this is in people’s homes and communities.”

In areas targeted by US drone strikes, she said, people are living “in a state of constant threat of death from the sky.”

The researchers made clear that Google’s claims that its partnership with the Pentagon was nonviolent in nature are highly questionable.

“It is clear that the Pentagon aims to build out Project Maven to armed drones, and its functionality does not need much adjustment to become a target recognition system, carried out by an armed drone, that could function without meaningful human control”, said Peter Asaro, an Associate Professor at the School of Media Studies at The New School and a co-author of the letter.

The letter’s authors told the World Socialist Web Site that they drafted their letter in response to a request by a technology employee for support within the academic community.

Peter Asaro

“It was the Google workers who really inspired my co-authors and myself to write this letter”, Dr. Asaro said. “We thought that IT researchers and academics could really add their voice to this issue. IT workers do not often organize against their employers in this way, so we realized it was an issue that really touched a nerve”, he added.

“This statement makes clear that we stand behind the thousands of workers who have stuck their necks out to sign that letter” by Google employees, said Lilly Irani, an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego and one of the letter’s authors.

“Google collects data on a global base of users, including people in the Middle East”, Dr. Irani said, and then “aligns that power with a single nation’s military. These massive companies that mediate and track our everyday lives are not accountable to the democratic process.”

Google has a user base that is international, and it has a responsibility to the global constituency of its users,” added Dr. Suchman. They are “the custodians of the data of billions of people. We need to call them to account for that responsibility.”

Suchman emphasized that while Google’s management has sought to integrate itself into the military-intelligence apparatus, many of its employees remain committed to the defense of freedom of expression, the open Internet, and opposition to war. “Google management is attempting to slide out of this commitment that a lot of their employees have, and their employees have very rightly called them to account on that”, said Dr. Suchman.

Earlier this week, Gizmodo reported that over a dozen Google employees have resigned over the company’s partnership with the Pentagon.

The open letter authored by Irani, Suchman, and Asaro notes that “Google has long sought to organize and enhance the usefulness of the world’s information. Beyond searching for relevant webpages on the Internet, Google has become responsible for compiling our email, videos, calendars, and photographs, and guiding us to physical destinations. Like many other digital technology companies, Google has collected vast amounts of data on the behaviors, activities and interests of their users.”

The letter concludes, “We are also deeply concerned about the possible integration of Google’s data on people’s everyday lives with military surveillance data, and its combined application to targeted killing. Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally. While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.”

Lily Irani

Dr. Irani, who supported the World Socialist Web Site’s open letter opposing Google’s censorship of the Internet, said that the issue of Google’s integration into the military-intelligence apparatus was closely linked to the company’s role in “muting political opposition through its ‘search quality’ policies.”

Last year, Google, under pressure from the major US intelligence agencies, implemented a change in its search algorithm that slashed search traffic to left-wing, anti-war, and progressive web sites by nearly 50 percent, and to the World Socialist Web Site by 75 percent.

The WSWS’s open letter to Google—which was never answered—raises the question: “Is Google coordinating its censorship program with the American government, or sections of its military and intelligence apparatus?” The involvement of Google with the military’s drone assassination program makes clear that its support for the US military and its censorship of left-wing sites are two sides of the same process.

“I’m very supportive of the fight against Internet censorship”, said Dr. Irani. “For the average person, Internet censorship is invisible: you don’t know it unless your favorite YouTube channel gets taken down,” she said, citing the need to raise public awareness of the issue.

She also linked the growing willingness of technology workers to speak out against censorship and militarism to mounting struggles of the working class, including educators who are engaged in a wave of strikes throughout the country. “At least one section of the tech workers,” said Irani, are beginning to “understand themselves as workers with different interests than their employers.”

The publication of this week’s open letter by leading academics protesting Google’s role in the military’s drone assassination program exposes the close partnership between the major technology giants and the US military/intelligence complex: here.

Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct: here.

Oppose Google’s collaboration in US war crimes: here.

Google workers oppose complicity in war crimes, resign


This 14 May 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Google Employees Demand An End To Military Project Maven

More than 3,000 Google employees wrote an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai. They expressed their desire to exit what they term “the business of war.” The employees’ letter asks for the immediate cancellation of a specific military project. The letter stresses that Google is “struggling to keep the public’s trust.” They also requested a general policy statement about building technology for the military. Project Maven is the code name for a Department of Defense Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team. Project Maven is an artificial intelligence program currently under development.

From Gizmodo.com in the USA:

Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract

by Kate Conger

Today 6:00am

It’s been nearly three months since many Google employees—and the public—learned about the company’s decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company’s continued involvement in Maven.

The resigning employees’ frustrations range from particular ethical concerns over the use of artificial intelligence in drone warfare to broader worries about Google’s political decisions—and the erosion of user trust that could result from these actions. Many of them have written accounts of their decisions to leave the company, and their stories have been gathered and shared in an internal document, the contents of which multiple sources have described to Gizmodo.

The employees who are resigning in protest, several of whom discussed their decision to leave with Gizmodo, say that executives have become less transparent with their workforce about controversial business decisions and seem less interested in listening to workers’ objections than they once did. In the case of Maven, Google is helping the Defense Department implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones. But some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work—and that Google shouldn’t be involved in military work at all.

Historically, Google has promoted an open culture that encourages employees to challenge and debate product decisions. But some employees feel that their leadership [is] no longer as attentive to their concerns, leaving them to face the fallout. “Over the last couple of months, I’ve been less and less impressed with the response and the way people’s concerns are being treated and listened to”, one employee who resigned said.

There’s precedent for employee pushback resulting in product changes—in 2015, employees and users successfully challenged Google’s ban on sexually explicit content posted to Blogger. But these are the first known mass resignations at Google in protest against one of the company’s business decisions, and they speak to the strongly felt ethical concerns of the employees who are departing.

In addition to the resignations, nearly 4,000 Google employees have voiced their opposition to Project Maven in an internal petition that asks Google to immediately cancel the contract and institute a policy against taking on future military work.

However, the mounting pressure from employees seems to have done little to sway Google’s decision—the company has defended its work on Maven and is thought to be one of the lead contenders for another major Pentagon cloud computing contract, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, better known as JEDI, that is currently up for bids.

Employees’ demands that Google end its Pentagon contract are also complicated by the fact that Google claims it is only providing open-source software to Project Maven, which means the military would be able to still use the technology, even if Google didn’t accept payment or offer technical assistance.

A strange claim by Google bosses. The Pentagon is really ‘good’ at wasting taxpayers’ money. However, it is hard to believe that the Pentagon is willing to pay Google lots of money for software which they might get for free.

Still, the resigning employees believe that Google’s work on Maven is fundamentally at odds with the company’s do-gooder principles. “It’s not like Google is this little machine-learning startup that’s trying to find clients in different industries”, a resigning employee said. “It just seems like it makes sense for Google and Google’s reputation to stay out of that.”

Many Google employees first learned the company was working on Maven when word of the controversial project began to spread internally in late February. At the time, a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo that the company was in the process of drafting “policies and safeguards” around its use of machine learning, but that policy document has yet to materialize, sources said.

One employee explained that Google staffers were promised an update on the ethics policy within a few weeks, but that progress appeared to be locked in a holding pattern. The ethical concerns “should have been addressed before we entered this contract”, the employee said.

In addition to the petition circulating inside Google, the Tech Workers Coalition launched a petition in April demanding that Google abandon its work on Maven and that other major tech companies, including IBM and Amazon, refuse to work with the U.S. Defense Department.

“We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards”, the petition reads. “These are life and death stakes.”

More than 90 academics in artificial intelligence, ethics, and computer science released an open letter today that calls on Google to end its work on Project Maven and to support an international treaty prohibiting autonomous weapons systems. Peter Asaro and Lucy Suchman, two of the authors of the letter, have testified before the United Nations about autonomous weapons; a third author, Lilly Irani, is a professor of science and a former Google employee.

Google’s contributions to Project Maven could accelerate the development of fully autonomous weapons, Suchman told Gizmodo. Although Google is based in the U.S., it has an obligation to protect its global user base that outweighs its alignment with any single nation’s military, she said.

“If ethical action on the part of tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology and who might be harmed, then we can say with certainty that no topic deserves more sober reflection—no technology has higher stakes—than algorithms meant to target and kill at a distance and without public accountability,” the letter states. “Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally. While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.”

Executives at Google have made efforts to defend Project Maven to employees. At a meeting shortly after the project became public, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene spoke in support of Project Maven, multiple sources told Gizmodo. More recently, Greene and other employees have hosted several sessions to debate and discuss the project. These sessions featured speakers who supported and opposed Maven and stressed the difficulty of drafting policy about the ethical use of machine learning, an attendee explained.

There are other reputational concerns factoring into employees’ decisions to leave Google. The company’s recent political fumbles, like its sponsorship of the Conservative Political Action Conference and its struggle to address internal diversity concerns, have also played a role.

“At some point, I realized I could not in good faith recommend anyone join Google, knowing what I knew. I realized if I can’t recommend people join here, then why am I still here?” a resigning Google employee said.

“I tried to remind myself right that Google’s decisions are not my decisions. I’m not personally responsible for everything they do. But I do feel responsibility when I see something that I should escalate it”, another added.

A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the resignations. But employees want to see action from the company, in the form of an ethics policy, a canceled contract, or both.

“Actions speak louder than words, and that’s a standard I hold myself to as well,” a resigning employee said. “I wasn’t happy just voicing my concerns internally. The strongest possible statement I could take against this was to leave.”

Workers at Google have been organizing and holding protests about issues such as sexual harassment, sexism and racism within the corporation, contracts with companies and countries engaged in human rights abuses, and climate change. Note to Google workers: Congratulations on finding this page. Google currently doesn’t index our website at Google News, although it has done so in the past. Google has never explained this decision, despite our queries and appeals. Infoshop News is one of the oldest online news websites, online since 1995. This decision by Google not only affects us, but penalizes the independent media and the general public who is looking for news like we provide. If you can help us with this issue, please let us know. Updated: September 27 2019: here.

British government admits lying about not killing Syrian civilians


This video from England says about itself:

14 April 2018

Scores of people joined forces in Norwich city centre to protest against the UK’s involvement in air strikes against Syria.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Drone Strikes: RAF admit to ‘unintentionally’ killing civilian

A CIVILIAN was “unintentionally” killed by an RAF drone strike … in eastern Syria, the government confirmed yesterday.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed the individual died after crossing into the strike area on a motorbike moments before the blast on March 26. …

Stop the War‘s Chris Nineham said: “This is proof that the Ministry of Defence’s absurd claims [of never killing any civilians] have been misleading from the very start.

The anti-war movement has always argued that it inevitably leads to civilian deaths. This proves we are right and many more will be killed by such drone programmes.

“The vast majority of people in Britain think that this type of intervention has to stop.”

This one precious civilian life lost is just the tip of the iceberg.

The following is the third part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. Parts one and two appeared on May 24 and May 25.

Civilian death toll mounts as US escalates offensive in Syria: here.