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Bezos says Amazon committed to working with U.S. Department of Defense

 

Amazon will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Defense, regardless of criticism, CEO Jeff Bezos told an audience at Wired25 in San Francisco, CNN reports.

Bezos told the crowd that big tech companies refusing to work with the DoD would be bad for the country.

“We are going to continue to support the DoD, and I think we should,” said Bezos. “One of the jobs of senior leadership is to make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular.”

Amazon is in the running for a $10 billion DoD contract to host a consolidated data platform in the cloud. Google decided not to compete for the contract in response to internal criticism.

The controversy around Amazon’s relationship with government agencies stems largely from a debate with the ACLU and other advocacy groups over the marketing of its Rekognition facial biometric technology to law enforcement.

Bezos also said that scrutiny of Amazon and other large organizations is positive for society. He blamed social media for increasing tribalism, and said that the internet currently functions as a confirmation bias machine, but that society eventually develops an “immune response” to negative uses of technology.

The other company run by Bezos, space travel company Blue Origin, secured a $500 million contract with the U.S. government earlier this month.

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