MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Jeff Bezos Puts the Pentagon on His Monopoly Board | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. Fox on November 5, 2018

The real prize is to become the military’s sole procurement source for off-the-shelf components. 

Employees at Google and Microsoft...They don’t want to be responsible for developing technology that causes substantial harm, surveils others in violation of international norms, or contravenes human rights.

Do Google and MS have an App for selective guilt? Here is where I get to use one of my favorite terms, thank you Star Trek.

Non sequitur

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/amazon-joins-the-military-to-further-its-dominance/

By JASON C. DITZ

Speaking at the Wired 25th anniversary last month month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company will continue to accept Pentagon contracts. That includes a very controversial cloud-computing contract that Google and Microsoft have already backed out of due to vocal employee opposition to working with the U.S. military.

Amazon was long considered the front-runner for this contract, but Bezos’s rationale for taking it goes well beyond its being low-hanging fruit. He’s argued that the government’s job is to “make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular,” and that large tech companies should support those decisions irrespective of politics.

The $10 billion tied to the contract can’t hurt either. Whatever his motivation for sucking it up and taking one for team tech, Bezos’s public justification is a poor one, and it isn’t hard to see why. The Pentagon has a long history of immoral and reckless behavior, actions that objectively aren’t beneficial to the defense of the United States. Any company that blindly works with them does so at its own peril.

Employees at Google and Microsoft have already made a powerful case for why tech giants shouldn’t collaborate with the Defense Department. They don’t want to be responsible for developing technology that causes substantial harm, surveils others in violation of international norms, or contravenes human rights. The Pentagon can be counted on to do all three, and more.

Furthermore, the Pentagon’s growing interest in artificial intelligence (A.I.), particularly as it relates to warfighting, sounds out of the preamble for a dystopian novel. Hence why Google employees forced their company not to renew a controversial Pentagon contract in June involving A.I. While Amazon will be signing on to cloud computing, not A.I., it’s still more than a little concerning that Bezos was so adamant about the virtues of the DoD. (For what it’s worth, Amazon already works with the CIA.)…

Bezos tries to paint this with a broad brush by contending that major companies must not walk away from the U.S. government over politics. Yet the consequences of Pentagon projects are potentially far-reaching, and large American companies cannot succor themselves with the rationale that they’re only following orders.

Amazon is going down a risky path. They say that if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, and Amazon has made a conscious decision to climb into bed with some of the Pentagon’s most flea-bitten projects. If it wakes up in a mess, let’s make sure no one claims they didn’t see it coming.

Be seeing you

Bankster

Bankster

 

 

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