Jeff Bezos’ ties to the national security state through Amazon Web Services are formidable, but the triple-digit billionaire’s furnishing of surveillance tools to the police state are no less disturbing.
'SEATTLE — Amazon is lobbying the public with proposed guidelines for lawmakers to adopt when crafting legislation around the use of facial-recognition technology. Amazon’s own software, Rekognition, has been put to the test by rights groups such as the ACLU, who have come to troubling conclusions about racial bias and threats to civil liberties.
The online retail giant’s CEO and wealthiest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, enjoys deep ties to the CIA via a $600 million cloud-computing contract with Amazon Web Services (AWS) he struck in 2014, prior to taking over the Washington Post. AWS is also a top contender for a Defense Department cloud-computing contract to the tune of $10 billion, the winner of which is expected to be announced in March.
In the meantime, the Pentagon is currently investigating whether Amazon created a conflict of interest in the process by rehiring Deap Ubhi, an AWS employee who went on to work for the Defense Department where he “helped guide the U.S. military’s cloud computing efforts,” according to the Post. Today, Ubhi is General Manager at AWS.
In favor of a little regulation, with the emphasis on little
Bezos’ ties to the national security state through AWS are immense, but the triple digit billionaire’s furnishing of surveillance tools to the police state are no less disturbing.
On Thursday, the company released proposed guidelines for Congress to consider when regulating facial-recognition technology. As Mashable’s Rachel Kraus notes, “it is a pre-emptive strike, that allows the company to say ‘we are in favor of regulation,’ while also making sure that the regulation is not too cumbersome.”'
Read more: Amazon Facial Rekognition App Sets Off Alarm Bells