Foreign media reported,After years of strong opposition to controversial government work, Google technology will be used to help the trump administration strengthen its management of the U.S. - Mexico border, according to a document related to the U.S. federal contract.In August, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) accepted a proposal to use Google cloud technology to promote the use of AI deployed by the CBP innovation group (invnt).
Among other projects, INVNT is studying technology to build a new "virtual" wall on the southern border that combines surveillance towers with drones, while simultaneously covering an area with sensors to detect unauthorized entry.
In 2018, Google faced internal turmoil after it signed a contract with the Pentagon to deploy AI enhanced UAV image recognition solutions. The move raised concerns among employees that Google would be involved in jobs that could be used for deadly purposes, as well as other human rights concerns. In response to the dispute, Google terminated the project, project maven, and established a new set of AI principles to manage future government contracts.
Employees also protested against the company's fraudulent statements about the project and attempts to keep military work confidential. It is understood that Google's involvement in the Maven project was concealed through a third-party contractor named ECS federal.
CBP's new work with Google was done through a third-party federal contractor, Thundercat technology, based in Virginia, according to the contract documents. Thundercat, a reseller, touts itself as the leading it provider for federal contracts.
Google is not only involved in the implementation of the trump government's border policy, but the contract also makes the company one of President Trump's most powerful supporters among top technology executives.
According to the document, Google's CBP technology will be used in conjunction with the work of Andy industries, a controversial defense technology start-up founded by Palmer luckey. The arrogant 28 year old executive, also the founder of oculus VR, was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for more than $2 billion. He is an open supporter and fundraiser of hardline conservative politics and one of Google's most vocal critics of its decision to abandon its military contract. Anduril has sentries on the U.S. - Mexican border, which CBP uses to monitor and arrest immigrants, simplifying the procedures for homeland security to detain immigrants.
CBP's Autonomous Surveillance towers project requires automated surveillance operations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to help the agency identify targets of interest. The plan has been touted as "a true power multiplier for CBP, which will allow border patrol officers to continue to focus on their interception missions rather than operating surveillance systems."
It is not clear how CBP plans to use Google cloud in combination with anduril or for any of the mission requirements mentioned in the contract documents. Google spokesman Jane khodos declined to comment on the contract. CBP, anduril and Thundercat technology also did not respond to requests for comment.
However, Google does promote powerful cloud based image recognition technology through its vision AI product, which can quickly detect and classify people and objects in images or video files - a boon for government agencies planning to set up surveillance towers in vast border areas.