Google Workers Are Demanding That the Company Stop Working With Police

The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In a new letter, more than 1,600 Google workers are demanding that the company end its work with police departments across the country.

“The past weeks have shown us that addressing racism is not merely an issue of words, but of actions taken to dismantle the actual structures that perpetuate it,” the workers wrote in a draft of the to-be-released letter addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and obtained by Mother Jones. The letter was signed by 1,670 employees, according to a screenshot that was shared with Mother Jones by someone with access to the signature list, and was organized by Googlers Against Racism, an advocacy group within the company.

“While we as individuals hold difficult but necessary conversations with our family, friends and peers, we are also incredibly disappointed by our company’s response,” the letter continued, referencing Google’s lip service to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The letter also demands that the company “stop making our technology available to police forces.”

Google employees singled out the company’s work with law enforcement through its venture capital arm, Gradient Ventures, which the Intercept reported in 2019 funds CAPE Productions, a startup that makes AI software to help police surveil the public with drones.

The employees also pointed to Google’s touting of its work with the police department in Clarkstown, New York. According to Google’s website, it contracts G-Suite cloud computing services to the police department, like email, calendars, and digital storage.

“Google is profiting off of these racist systems, and we believe this means Google is part of the problem,” the workers wrote. 

Google employees had previously organized in 2018 against the company’s Project Maven, its contract to provide AI to the Department of Defense’s military drone program. The company announced that it would end the program after sustained pushback from workers across the company.   

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate