Recently, the Trump administration has arrested illegal immigration on the Mexican-American border and triggered the separation of thousands of children from their families.
Lei Fengnet learned that because of the cloud computing and face recognition technology provided for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), Microsoft is also embroiled in this storm.
A large number of children separated from their parents at the border
According to foreign media reports, in May of this year, the Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance” policy on immigrants. At the Mexican border in the United States, a large number of illegal immigrants were arrested.
And because a large number of illegal immigrants migrate from family to family, immigrants have a large number of children. Adults were detained and children who had entered illegally with them were sent to temporary shelters and were not properly resettled. This situation caused public anger.
According to statistics from the US Department of Homeland Security, from April 19 to May 31 this year, 1995 illegal immigrant children across the US-Mexico border were forcibly taken away from their parents. According to a previous Reuters report, from October 2016 to February 2018, nearly 1,800 illegal immigrant families in the U.S. border area were forcibly dismantled by U.S. authorities. Some 4,000 immigrant children have so far been forcibly taken away from their parents by the United States authorities. The child’s physical and mental conditions raise concerns.
(McCullen Host Center Image Source: Border Protection Center)
According to foreign media reports, temporary children's shelters on the US-Mexico border are now full, and the government is setting up tents to ease the pressure. The living conditions of children in temporary resettlement sites are difficult for the outside world to know.
According to the Washington Post, ProPOblica, a non-profit organization, released an audio recording of a temporary children's shelter. The children continued to cry in the audio and kept shouting "Dad," "mother," and some children even cried. Breathless. From the sound, these kids are between 4 and 10 years old.
A large number of media and the public are condemning the US government’s unreasonable illegal immigration disposal policy. Microsoft, the related technology provider, has also been involved in the storm.
Microsoft is proud to partner with ICE
In January of this year, Microsoft announced its cooperation with ICE.
Tom Keane, head of global infrastructure for Microsoft Azure, posted on the official blog that Microsoft and the US Air Force and ICE have signed new contracts for Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service. Keane said Azure helped the agency handle "sensitive unclassified data" and included the ability to use "deep learning to accelerate facial recognition." Keane wrote: "The agency, which is currently implementing transformational technologies for homeland security and public safety, is proud to use our mission-critical cloud to support this work." ”
We understand that Microsoft has implemented "transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety". There are three main points:
Prevent illegal entry and exit through real-time monitoring and intelligent analysis;
Analyze data, identify threats before they approach the border to speed up travel and trade processes;
Sharing information between different agencies and borders, fighting terrorism and organized crime, preventing illegal immigration, trafficking and the flow of counterfeit goods.
On Father's Day yesterday, many Americans went out to protest illegal immigration policies that separated children from their fathers. Microsoft's article was also turned over by netizens.
Bloomberg found that Microsoft deleted the blog post on the same day.
Soon after, the blog was back online.
A Microsoft spokesperson said, "An employee deleted blog posts after seeing comments on social media. It was a mistake. Soon we noticed this and then restored it." "Microsoft spokesman said.
After resuming the blog post, Microsoft issued an official statement stating its opposition to the "separation policy." "We urge the government to change its policy and pass legislation and legislation to ensure that children are no longer separated from their families," Microsoft said, noting that it does not cooperate with ICE in any project related to this activity.
The original text is as follows:
As a company, Microsoft is frustrated that children and their families are forcibly separated at the border. Since the end of the Second World War, family unity has been the basic rule of U.S. policy and law. As a company, Microsoft has been working on combining technology and the rule of law for more than 20 years to ensure that children of refugees and immigrants can keep in touch with their parents. We need to continue to adhere to this lofty tradition and not change the road now. We urge the government to change its policies and Congress passed legislation to ensure that children are no longer separated from their families.
Microsoft did not collaborate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct any project that separates children from their families at the border. We do not know that Azure or Azure services are used for this purpose.
According to the Bloomberg government, Microsoft is currently signing a $19.14 million contract with ICE. Microsoft has not yet said that it will stop the cooperation or not renew it. And we all know that companies like Google, Amazon, and IBM that are pushing cloud computing all want to cooperate with the government. Other companies have also been criticized for this, especially the cooperation between Google and the Pentagon.
The Workers Coalition, an advocacy group that criticized the US government’s immigration policy, wrote on Twitter that Microsoft employees should decide whether they would “collusion” in the government's immigration policy. Other high-tech executives also need to consider.
Microsoft President Brad Smith sent a message on LinkedIn Sunday saying that he does not support the approach taken by ICE.
He wrote: "We think that the opportunity to be with children is a matter of course. What happened on this Father's Day reminds us that many people do not have this opportunity. ” “The news that immigrant children are separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border is particularly alarming this year. ”
On June 16th, Google artificial intelligence director Jeff & middot; Dean issued a tweet saying that the separation policy “is immoral and is an affront to many of our values. ”
How is AI not evil?
Recently, other than Microsoft, other technology companies have also been criticized for government cooperation projects.
Lei Fengwang reported that in March this year, Google and the U.S. Department of Defense leaked information on Project Maven. As the goal of the project was to use UAVs for video detection and target recognition, it may be used in combat in the future and it was strongly attacked. . In April, more than 3,100 Google employees jointly signed up with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, calling for Google to exit Project Maven and demanding that the company never develop war-related technologies.
In response to employees and the outside world, Google announced that it no longer renewed this project with the Ministry of National Defense. Pichai also issued seven articles to propose Google's AI application. It promised that Google will not participate in the main goals or work methods will cause harm to humans/directly to help humanity. Injured weapons and other techniques.
In addition to Google and Microsoft, other giants also face the same problem. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) submitted a petition to Amazon on Monday, requesting the company to stop providing facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies.