Jeff Bezos: Amazon will keep working with the DoD

Jeff Bezos says his companies will continue to do business with the US Department of Defense, despite intern...

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 11:25 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 11:25 AM

Jeff Bezos says his companies will continue to do business with the US Department of Defense, despite internal and external criticism.

"If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the DoD, this country is going to be in trouble," said Bezos on stage at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco on Monday.

Amazon.com Inc

Business figures

Companies

Defense departments

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

International relations and national security

Jeff Bezos

National security

Technology

The billionaire has faced backlash from Amazon (AMZN) employees over its business deals with government agencies. It has already worked with the DoD and multiple law enforcement agencies have used its facial recognition system -- Rekognition. Amazon employees and civil liberties organizations claimed that the software could be used violate human rights.

"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."

Now Amazon is vying for a $10 billion contract with the Department of Defense to consolidate and host its data on the cloud.

Other tech giants have responded differently to internal protests. Google is no longer competing for the $10 billion contract, and it decided not to renew an AI contract with the Pentagon after employees signed a petition.

Bezos, however, is sticking to his plans.

The owner of the Washington Post newspaper, Bezos has been a subject of critical tweets by President Trump. His tensions with the current administration hasn't changed Bezos' view of the United States, however.

"I like this country," said Bezos. "I know everyone is conflicted about the current politics in this country — this country is a gem. It is amazing, it's still the best place in the world, it's the place people want to come, there aren't other countries where everybody's trying to get in. I'd let them in if it were up to me. I like them. I want all of them in. This is a great country and it does need to be defended."

Amazon isn't the only company doing business with the government. Last week, Bezos' space travel company Blue Origin secured a $500 million contract with the federal government to work on a launching system.

He did say some technologies could be misused, but that it is not a reason to stop their development. He compared current technology to the invention of books, which have been used for good and bad, including creating "fascist empires."

"The last thing we'd ever want to do is stop the progress of new technologies," said Bezos.

Eventually, society will develop an "immune response" to bad uses of technology, according to Bezos.

"I think social media is increasing -- unfortunately -- identity politics, tribalism. I think the internet in its current incarnation is a confirmation bias machine," said Bezos. "I worry that some of these technologies will be very useful for autocratic regimes to enforce their role ... But that's not new, that's always been the case. And we will figure it out."

He went on to defend scrutiny of large companies like Amazon, as well as other large institutions such as governments and big non-profits.

"I preach inside Amazon, this is going to happen, it's normal, don't take it personally," he said. "You want to live in a society where that happens."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1052099

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1221671356
Cuyahoga1070432069
Hamilton781801168
Montgomery50040996
Summit45383909
Lucas40122765
Butler37721570
Stark31437895
Lorain24166473
Warren23885293
Mahoning20905583
Lake20009362
Clermont19441229
Delaware18038130
Licking16124207
Fairfield15708197
Trumbull15585460
Medina14868259
Greene14668236
Clark13634293
Wood12767185
Portage12384196
Allen11328229
Richland11041198
Miami10536214
Muskingum8706127
Wayne8576209
Columbiana8546226
Pickaway8436121
Marion8377135
Tuscarawas8376240
Erie7566154
Hancock6714123
Ross6699146
Geauga6537146
Ashtabula6495165
Scioto6289101
Belmont5626158
Union557647
Lawrence5467102
Jefferson5324147
Huron5307114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5174120
Seneca5124120
Washington5076107
Athens501556
Auglaize475684
Mercer471684
Shelby456090
Knox4387108
Madison422859
Putnam421599
Ashland413188
Fulton409467
Defiance402596
Crawford3872101
Brown386455
Logan372976
Preble370398
Clinton361560
Ottawa356978
Highland347059
Williams326774
Champaign320657
Jackson308451
Guernsey306649
Perry289949
Fayette277848
Morrow275339
Hardin264264
Henry263766
Coshocton259457
Holmes253399
Van Wert239162
Gallia233346
Pike233331
Adams228552
Wyandot227253
Hocking209059
Carroll189247
Paulding168638
Meigs141538
Noble132837
Monroe128841
Morgan106623
Harrison105336
Vinton81514
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 38°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 45°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 45°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Small chances for isolated drizzle Saturday night & Sunday. Sunday morning starts cold, with the potential for frost area-wide, but warms up to where we should be this time of year.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events