Microsoft plans to sell the Pentagon its technology


And while speaking at a conference in San Francisco last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos defended contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense amid a wave of furor and dissent from employees, some of whom have threatened to quit.

US high tech firm Microsoft Corporation Friday defended its plan to continue to work with the USA military despite objections from its employees who opposed the use of Microsoft technology for warfare.

The two companies are responding to a broader wave of discontent that has complicated the efforts of Silicon Valley tech companies to work with the military.

"We want the people of this country and especially the people who serve this country to know that we at Microsoft have their back", he wrote.

Therefore, Microsoft decides to bid for the DOD's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud project called "JEDI" that will strengthen the DOD's end-to-end IT infrastructure, he added.

"We understand that some of our employees may have different views", Smith writes.

In October, Microsoft expanded its cloud service, Azure, in order to better assist their government clients, contributing to the company's efforts to secure the government contract. "We are going to continue to support the Department of Defense, and I think we should".

Employees within tech companies have protested against their companies' involvement in military and federal law enforcement work.

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In a letter published on blogging site Medium, the employees wrote that they joined Microsoft with 'the expectation that the technologies we build will not cause harm or human suffering'.

"Like those who took action at Google, Salesforce, and Amazon, we ask all employees of tech companies to ask how your work will be used, where it will be applied, and act according to your principles", the letter said. Microsoft also respects "the fact that some employees work in or may be citizens of other countries, and they may not want to work on certain projects", he said.

"All of us who live in this country depend on its strong defense".

But not every tech giant is standing by the military.

Nearly two weeks ago, anonymous Microsoft employees posted on Medium, a social journalism platform, an article that concluded: "Microsoft, don't bid on JEDI".

Smith's letter followed an October 12 "Open Letter to Microsoft" purportedly signed by an unspecified number of Microsoft employees. "This program is truly about increasing the lethality of our department". While the company did not cancel the contract, it publicly announced it would not renew it.

The principles bar use of Google's artificial intelligence (AI) software in weapons as well as services that violate worldwide norms for surveillance and human rights.