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>> When Google recently decided not to renew a Pentagon contract to supply artificial intelligence, analysing drone aircraft footage, it was because over 4,000 employees petitioned, arguing the project could lead to more automated killing. And it was a major victory for an activist movement gaining stream in Silicon Valley.
Behind it, a new loose-knit group called the Tech Workers Coalition. Reuters Joseph Menn has been tracking the development. It's got some union people, some community organizing people, and a lot of the rank and file from companies including Google Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook. What's interesting is that the tech rank and file, generally have not been in unions before.
Many of them have not been in any sort of civil movements or organizations. And they're feeling energized to protest and organize activities on a number of issues involving their own companies.>> The new surge in activism includes Amazon employees writing a letter to protest the company's sales of facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies.
And at Microsoft, over 300 workers complained about contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Why the surge in activism now? Some employees were appalled at how Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter where used to get Trump elected. Others worry about the addictive nature of their products. At the meetings, workers from different companies swap ideas but also learn from activist pros who give tips on how to organize and petition.
And the world's biggest human rights groups are also playing a part.>> Since 2016, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the latest is the UN High Commission for Human Rights have all opened offices in Silicon Valley. It's because the tech companies are aware where the battle field is now on quite a range of human rights issues.
>> One of the ironies in all of these is that some of San Fransisco's poor have protested tech companies and their employees as the enemies of affordable housing. Now, those employees are fighting immigration authorities who can represent an even greater threat.