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Google staff protest against Pentagon work

Google staff protest against Pentagon work

Technology
Thousands of staff at Google are protesting against the company's work with the Pentagon's surveillance drones programme.Called Project Maven, the programme uses Google technology to automate the analysis of objects in the enormous amount of images that are captured by the Department of Defense's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).More than 3,100 staff signatures have been attached to a letter addressed to chief executive Sundar Pichai which is circulating inside Google with a request that the company pull out of the project.According to a copy of the letter published by The New York Times, the letter states: "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war."Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicise and enforce a clear policy stating that n...
Google confirms its tech is used by Pentagon

Google confirms its tech is used by Pentagon

Technology
Google has confirmed that its technology is being used by the Pentagon to analyse footage captured by drones.A program called Project Maven is utilising the technology to automate the analysis of objects in the enormous amount of images that are captured by the Department of Defence's surveillance drones - also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).Gizmodo reported that some Google employees were "outraged that the company would offer resources to the military for surveillance technology involved in drone operations".There have been almost 30,000 coalition strikes against targets in Iraq and Syria since the US-led intervention in 2014, the intelligence behind many of which is developed by analysis of UAV surveillance footage.Video:How do drone strikes happen?Google confirmed that softwa...
Report: Pentagon skirted U.S. law on human rights abuses in Afghanistan

Report: Pentagon skirted U.S. law on human rights abuses in Afghanistan

Business
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. agency overseeing Afghanistan reconstruction said in a report Tuesday that the State and Defense Departments skirted U.S. human rights laws by financially backing Afghan security forces accused of abuses.The report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said that both departments sidestepped Leahy Laws, continuing funding despite credible allegations of "gross violations of human rights," including child rape.Leahy Laws prohibit the agencies from providing financial support and military assistance to foreign security forces that violate human rights with impunity.According to the report, the Pentagon used an exception meant for security and continued to provide "select training, equipment, and other assistance to some of the Afghan units...
Pentagon awards contract to Gulfstream for service on C-20, C-37

Pentagon awards contract to Gulfstream for service on C-20, C-37

Business
Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Gulfstream Aerospace a contract for two different twin-engine, turbofan aircraft used for transporting high-ranking government and Defense Department officials.The terms of the agreement were announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, awarding Gulfstream Aerospace with a deal not-to-exceed more than $ 118.2 million.The contract modifies a previous award under the terms of a firm-fixed-price contract with a five-year option period in support of the C-37 and C-20 aircraft, which aims to provide uninterrupted contractor support and logistics for the aircraft.The C-37 and C-20 are both twin-engine, turbofan aircraft, sporting engines made by BMW and Rolls Royce, and have the same 20-person passenger capacity. The C-20 cost around $ 37 milli...
Afghan air force has made progress but work not yet done, Pentagon says in new report

Afghan air force has made progress but work not yet done, Pentagon says in new report

Business
Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The Pentagon's Inspector General said this week that U.S. and coalition forces are making progress in training the Afghanistan air force, but that work still needs to be done concerning strategic planning and other logistical and maintenance requirements.The IG report, released on Thursday, notes that the Afghan Air Force has garnered "notable accomplishments." Using Embraer-made A-29 Super Tucanos, the Afghans have made progress in aircraft mission performance, night-vision capabilities, and air-ground integration between the air force and the Afghan national army.The report said, however, that the Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air, or TAAC-Air, mission that develops the Afghan Air Force does not yet have a strategic plan for development of the force into a "professional, ...