Big Tech profited billions during the ‘war on terror,’ according to a new report

According to a research released ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, computer behemoths made billions of dollars during the so-called “war on terror” through contracts with the US military and other government agencies.

Three US campaign groups released the “Big Tech Sells War” report on Thursday, which highlighted an increase in government contracts with Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter since 2004.

The contracts were “mainly with entities crucial to the War on Terror,” according to the analysis.

Amazon and Microsoft have made significant gains in recent years, with Amazon signing roughly five times as many federal contracts and subcontracts in 2019 as it did in 2015.”

Since 2001, as the defense industry has become more digital, there has been an increase in demand from US military and intelligence organizations for cloud computing and GPS software.

According to the study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Action Center on Race and the Economy and social justice organizations LittleSis and MPower Change, the Department of Defense has reportedly spent over $43.8 billion on Big Tech contracts since 2004.

According to the report, four of the top five agencies spending the most on Big Tech contracts were “important to foreign policy or were founded as a direct result of the Global War on Terror.”

Amazon and Microsoft have raced ahead at a very good pace

According to the document, federal demand for big tech companies’ services has risen dramatically, particularly from the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

The investigation found that Microsoft profited from a surge in defense contracts during the Trump administration, with a six-fold increase in transactions executed between 2016 and 2018.

AFP has reached out to the five Big Tech titans for comment but has not received a response.

The report’s data came from Tech Inquiry, an online program that allows citizens to investigate US federal contracts.

The statistics in the analysis are “quite likely an underrepresentation,” according to the article, because the technology only includes contracts for which information is publicly available.

Meanwhile, the report’s authors denounced a “revolving door” link between Big Tech and US security services, with former senior government officials gaining significant posts at technology firms.

As examples, the study cited former State Department official Jared Cohen, who is now at Google, Amazon’s Steve Pandelides, who formerly worked for the FBI, and Microsoft’s Joseph D. Rozek, who helped build the Department of Homeland Security.


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