American whistleblower Edward Snowden has said in an interview that tech workers at Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon need to reflect on how their work is impacting society.
In an interview hosted by Motherboard, Snowden was asked what can be done to make tech workers come out more strongly against their companies.
To which Snowden replied that tech workers need to see how their work is being used by companies to surveillance people, interfere with lives, and contemplate how right it is for them to continue working on the project.
“Technologists like to believe the technologies are value-neutral” He comes up with a counter-argument by sharing the example of physicists who were able to harness the power of atoms, believing they would help bring clean energy.
“They thought they were realizing the future and then all their hard work became one of the most atrocious weapons in the history of humanity”
Edward Snowden also takes up examples of small technological advances such as weather apps, spreadsheets, and family tree websites.
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“All of them are being bought out, are being subverted, are being corrupted, are being incentivized into building capabilities into their platforms, into their apps that fundamentally work against the public and in the favor of some institution”
He says employees at tech giants should look at the bigger picture and not just think of their project at an individual level.
His interview comes at a time when tech workers in recent times have tried to dissent against decisions made by their companies. Recently, Facebook employees kept a virtual walkout to show their dissatisfaction with the company for not removing a Facebook post by US President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, over 1,650 Google workers recently signed an open letter to CEO Sundar Pichai asking him to end its technology sharing contracts with the police.