March 4, 2021

Pro-immigrant activists protest at Amazon forum in New York

Hundreds of immigrant rights activists protested in New York on Thursday at the building where an Amazon smart cloud platform forum (Web Services) was held for its collaboration with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. (ICE, for its acronym in English).

According to the Make The Road NY organization, some 500 activists from twelve different groups clamored this morning in front of the Javits Center convention center in western Manhattan, momentarily cut off traffic and a small group interrupted several times the interventions of an executive of the signature.

In a statement, Make The Road explained that activists asked Amazon to stop supplying its cloud software to the Department of Homeland Security, since it allows it to "store biometric data of 230 million people, including fingerprints and records of the face and the iris ".

The demonstrators blasted audios of immigrant children detained on the US-Mexico border. to accompany their claims, interrupting the company's technology manager, Werner Vogels, during his opening speech.

According to local media, the activists were escorted out of the center and the executive later said he was "more than willing to have a conversation" with them if they let him "finish first".

The executive co-director of the organization, Deborah Axt, said the separations of migrant families and the raids are facilitated by private firms such as Amazon, which provides technology to ICE.

The US Government It has intensified its pressure on immigrants and, amid criticism of the conditions in which young people and children are being held near the border, ICE is expected to raid ten large cities in the country on Sunday.

"Despite the growing concerns expressed by immigrant rights groups, Amazon continues to promote its dangerous facial recognition technology, Rekognition, with the federal government," said Make the Road.

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement sent to Efe on the matter that the firm firmly believes that "companies and government organizations must use existing and new technology in a responsible and legal manner."

"There is clearly a need for more clarity on the part of governments on what is an acceptable use of artificial intelligence and on the ramifications of its misuse, and we have provided a proposal for a legislative framework for this," the firm explained. .

"We remain anxious for the government to provide this additional clarity and legislation, and we will continue to offer specific ideas and suggestions," Amazon concluded.

(tagsToTranslate) Activists (t) proinmigracion (t) Amazon (t) New (t) York

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