Microsoft workers demand it drop US$480m US Army contract

25 February, 2019, 03:47 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • 'We won't be war profiteers': Microsoft workers protest $480m army contract

"In November, Microsoft was awarded the $479 million Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) contract with the United States Department of the Army".

"While the company has previously licensed tech to the US Military, it has never crossed the line into weapons development", reads the letter. Another said several organizers work in the company's cloud computing division, which is competing with rivals Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services to gain more government work.

Many similarly spoke out against Microsoft bidding to create cloud services for the Department of Defense past year, citing similar concerns that workers would not know the potential impact of their creations in advance and that "many Microsoft employees don't believe that what we build should be used for waging war". We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country's government "increase lethality" using tools we built.

It seems any launch of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 will not be without controversy.

Previous year the company signed a $479 million contract with the US Army to provide headsets that could be used in training and combat. Those outcries didn't impact Microsoft's work with ICE, but elsewhere in the tech industry, Google employees were successful in pushing the company to abandon an AI contract with the Pentagon and end work on a censored search product for China. But the document appears to mark the latest employee-led protest effort at a U.S. tech giant. Under the contract, Microsoft would be required to provide more than 100,000 headsets designed for combat and training in the military.

Kansas City Chiefs awarded 6th round compensatory pick in 2019 Draft
Seattle holds picks in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds, having traded away its picks in Rounds 2, 6 and 7. The compensatory selections are awarded to teams based on the Compensatory Draft System's net loss formula.

The internal revolt at Microsoft highlights the heightened activism among employees at tech giants and follows similar uprisings at Amazon and Google, where workers have bristled over their companies' business relationships with the USA military or law enforcement agencies. "The application of HoloLens within the IVAS system is created to help people kill".

But in a statement to PCMag on Friday, Microsoft added: "We'll remain engaged as an active corporate citizen in addressing the important ethical and public policy issues relating to AI and the military".

The workers' coalition asked Nadella and Smith to "cease developing any and all weapons technologies, and draft a public-facing acceptable use policy clarifying this commitment". "It will be deployed on the battlefield, and works by turning warfare into a simulated "video game", further distancing soldiers from the grim stakes of war and the reality of bloodshed".

The group's letter reflects a broader trend of workers at major tech companies coming together to demand greater control over how their work is used. Extending this core mission to encompass warfare and disempower Microsoft employees, is disingenuous, as "every person" also means empowering us. Now, dozens of the firm's employees have got together to send a letter to Satya Nadella and Brad Smith (President and Chief Legal Officer) to contest the US$480-million agreement.

He said Microsoft would push for policies, however, to ensure that technology was used "responsibly and ethically".


  • Nigeria await for winner of presidential vote

    Nigeria await for winner of presidential vote

    There were reports of ballot-snatching, vote-buying and violence elsewhere, including in the southwestern state of Lagos. One military convoy seen in Delta state in the south contained more than 25 vehicles with battle-ready soldiers.
    IS teen asks United Kingdom  to show 'more mercy'

    IS teen asks United Kingdom to show 'more mercy'

    He added that he is shocked to see "her lack of remorse" in recent media interviews conducted at the Syrian refugee camp. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Javid's decision was "extreme" and she had "a right to return to Britain".
    After California sues over border wall, Trump threatens high-speed rail funds

    After California sues over border wall, Trump threatens high-speed rail funds

    CT is involved in more than 40 multi-state lawsuits against the Trump administration. "We're not giving it back". Newsom was referring to the President's tweet earlier on Tuesday when he took aim at the Golden State.
  • Messi nets 50th hat-trick as Barcelona snatch win at Sevilla

    Messi nets 50th hat-trick as Barcelona snatch win at Sevilla

    Luis Suarez made sure of the points by scoring deep in stoppage time, chipping Vaclik after being played through by a pass from Messi .
    USA  judge grants ex-Trump lawyer prison delay

    USA judge grants ex-Trump lawyer prison delay

    Earlier in the day, a federal judge in NY granted Cohen's request to delay the start of his prison sentence by 60 days. Cohen will not be deterred, will speak about his decade long experiences working for Mr.
    OK to delay Brexit to implement deal, says Tory MP Glyn Davies

    OK to delay Brexit to implement deal, says Tory MP Glyn Davies

    The government said talks on Thursday were "productive" and would "continue urgently at a technical level". The Head of Government promised the House of Commons another vote on the issue on February 27.
  • Venezuela: Soldiers deserts as Guaidó prepares to meet Mike Pence

    Venezuela: Soldiers deserts as Guaidó prepares to meet Mike Pence

    Meanwhile, in the Venezuelan capital, president Nicolas Maduro showed nothing had changed except the relationship with Colombia. Guaido had given a personal send-off to one convoy carrying aid from the Colombian city of Cucuta on Saturday.
    Assam Tea Garden Workers Dead Due To Toxic Liquor, 200 In Hospital

    Assam Tea Garden Workers Dead Due To Toxic Liquor, 200 In Hospital

    In the past 24 hours alone, 34 patients have died, said Manab Gohain, a doctor at the Jorhat Medical College Hospital. The bodies of people killed by drinking toxic bootleg liquor are gathered together at Kushal Konwar Civil Hospital.
    The most logical landing spots for Antonio Brown

    The most logical landing spots for Antonio Brown

    One of the teams that have been rumored to want Bell is the New York Jets . "We're all disappointed we're at this point". Information from ESPN's Adam Schefter was used in this report.
  • No likely survivors, say police in jetliner crash near US’ Houston

    It was flying at about 5,800 feet altitude and there were no signs of trouble before it disappeared, the person said. A dive team with the Texas Department of Public Safety will be tasked with finding the black box, Hawthorne said.
    Jussie Smollett hands himself over to the police

    Jussie Smollett hands himself over to the police

    Actor Jussie Smollett is pictured at the Trevor Live Los Angeles Gala 2018, in Beverly Hills, California, on December 2, 2019. Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi announced the news on Thursday, noting the Empire actor had turned himself in .
    IS schoolgirl Shamima Begum brands decision to revoke her citizenship ‘unjust’

    IS schoolgirl Shamima Begum brands decision to revoke her citizenship ‘unjust’

    The jihadi bride was married off to Yago Riedijk, 27, a Dutch convert to Islam, 10 days after arriving in Raqqa. Ms Begum is reportedly of Bangladeshi heritage so could have dual citizenship.


Tiger’s most fantastic shot? Woods bends ball around trees from a bunker
The following three-putt was the first time ever in his PGA Tour career in which he as followed up a four-putt with a three-putt. He holed a 10-foot birdie on No. 5 and kept getting looks at medium-range birdie attempts without making them.

Man United boss Solskjaer invites Ferguson to give team talk against Liverpool
We have to make sure that we don't end up being happy being among the top four. In this season's title race, I would go for Spurs all day long".

Huawei Mate X foldable phone revealed in leaked banner and it's stunning
The company will be hosting a live stream of the event in its official Huawei Mobile YouTube handle as well as on Facebook . It's worth noting that the Mate X's black "bezels" around the screen seems thinner than those of its rivals.

Celestial delight: Super Moon graces sky
February's Super Snow Moon is the second of three lunar spectacles that Irish stargazers have been treated to this year. In January, we had an eclipse during a super blood wolf moon ; the third super moon will come up in March.

Maduro to close the border with Brazil in aid standoff
Amnesty International's Americas director Erika Guevara urged authorities to "guarantee access" for those bringing in aid. Hours before the concert began, dozens of Venezuelans hiked across the border through high bushes on an unmarked trail.

Alexandre Lacazette Apologises to Arsenal Teammates After Europa League Red Card
Tonight's match is important but we can't [be knocked out in it], we are going to play a second match next week. Michael Owen is tipping Arsenal to draw or lose their Europa League clash with BATE Borisov on Thursday night.

Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum wary of improved Man Utd
Despite Liverpool and Bayern possessing world-class attacking players in their teams, chances were rare in the tightly-contested match at Anfield.

Nestle, Disney & Epic Games pull YouTube ads amid paedophile infiltration fears
Many of these videos had ads connected to them as well and, in the examples shown, one was for Fortnite . It's now unknown when, or even if, Epic Games will reinstate their Fortnite pre-roll adverts.

Phillies have 'tough road' to land Harper, Giants' offer remains unknown
He stated that they may need to offer him a deal worth at least $400 million, saying the deal will have the number four in it. Boston plays a three-game series at San Diego Aug. 23-25.

Woods ready for Mexico debut
Sharma was in lead after the second and third rounds at Club de Golf Chapultepec past year on his WGC debut before finishing T9. Molinari in November a year ago crowned a magnificent season when he won the European Tour's coveted Race to Dubai.