Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 2, 2023

Making Money off Apartheid in Palestine and Stalking Tohono O'odham

Making Money off Apartheid in Palestine and Stalking Tohono O'odham 

By Brenda Norrell, Censored News, September 3, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google employees protested a Google contract for advanced surveillance with Israel this week in San Francisco. It is Nimbus, the cloud and surveillance technology created by Google and Amazon that is used in Israel against Palestinians, and by the U.S. Border Patrol to stalk O'odham, using the 11 spy towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation built by an Israeli defense contractor.

Nimbus, violating human rights and accelerating Apartheid, was exposed by The Intercept.

"The documents indicate that the new cloud would give Israel capabilities for facial detection, automated image categorization, object tracking, and even sentiment analysis that claims to assess the emotional content of pictures, speech, and writing," The Intercept reported.

"In 2020, citing the same AI tools, U.S Customs and Border Protection tapped Google Cloud to process imagery from its network of border surveillance towers," The Intercept reports.

The spy towers, integrated fixed towers, were built by Elbit Systems, an Israeli defense contractor. Elbit is being protested now in England for manufacturing drones, surveillance and weapons of death used against Palestinians. In solidarity with Palestinians, ongoing protests are shutting down Elbit's weapons manufacturing companies in England.

Below: Live video tracking from spy towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation is watched by the U.S. Border Patrol in Tucson, at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. O'odham say this stalking violates their rights with persistent surveillance, and endangers the vulnerable. U.S. Border Patrol agents have been arrested all along the border for assault, kidnapping, serial rape, drug running, spotting for the cartels, and murder.

The spy towers were built on the Tohono O'odham Nation, and along the Arizona border, by way of a U.S. government contract, which the Tohono O'odham government agreed to, failing to honor the objections of traditional O'odham.

Those corporate profits from big money Apartheid have now made their way to Indian country. Amazon's Jeff Bezos donated $12 million which is now being used for grants and fellowships in Indian country. 

During the San Francisco protest, Lujain Al-Saleh, a member of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, said San Francisco is no stranger to the harms of Big Tech and that the use of these technologies will eventually make its way back to the U.S. to be used on marginalized communities.

“Families in Gaza have become lab experiments for these types of tools, and after they are tested on them, they’re packaged and sent to all authoritarian governments and law enforcement agencies all over the world, including right here in the Bay Area, to be used against poor, working-class Black and Brown communities,” Al-Saleh told San Francisco Standard.

“We cannot claim to be a city that supports working communities when we allow technologies to be developed for targeting occupied populations that will be shared with ICE and law enforcement.”

In England, Palestine Action Underground continued its protests, this week shutting down Elbit's weapons companies.

"Over the past few months, Digital Office Group has been spotted supplying equipment to U-TacS several times. As part of the campaign to shut down the Leicester weapons factory, activists target all companies facilitating U-TacS production of Israeli weaponry.

Previously, Kuehne+Nagel, Edwards accountants and Precision Facilities Management were also targeted over their ongoing deals with U-TacS.

U-TacS is a drone factory owned and operated by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems, in partnership with French arms firm Thales.

Read more:

The Intercept: Documents show advanced AI tools Google is selling to Israel

Protesters decry Google's Israeli contract at San Francisco conference

Palestine Action Underground targets weapons suppliers

Copyright Censored News. May not be republished without written permission, or used for commercial purposes, with advertising, or in revenue-producing schemes.

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