Google is planning to build a massive data centre in Saudi Arabia — potentially handing over our private information to one of the worst human rights abusers in the world.
Saudi oligarchs will stop at nothing to eliminate “problematic” activists, journalists, and anyone that dares to stand up to them.
Ekō members have filed a shareholder resolution about this issue with Alphabet, Google’s parent company, so now investors will have a say. The AGM is on June 1 -- if we each sign this petition and forward it on, we can shine a spotlight on this disastrous deal before investors meet.
We know Saudi Arabia could try to infiltrate the data centre — they’ve already done it before with Twitter. Two Saudi spies worked for Twitter and leaked sensitive data about activists, and now some of those activists have been disappeared and likely being tortured in a Saudi prison.
What’s to stop Saudi Arabia from doing the exact same thing with this new Google data centre?
When groups asked Google how it will vet employees to ensure there is no Saudi infiltration, and what types of data will be processed through the centre, Google was mum.
Our shareholder resolution would force the company to report on the implications of placing data centers in countries with human rights abuses and what mitigation efforts it took to address the concerns.
Given Saudi Arabia's rampant rights abuses, Google should scrap this horrendous deal entirely, and protect the identity and data of millions of people who could be threatened by it. But this is going to take a massive public outcry to gain traction, and Alphabet's AGM is next week. If we sign the petition now and share this widely, we can show Google the whole world is watching.
The Guardian. 9 April 2021.
SMEX. 30 April 2021.
Buzzfeed News. 19 February 2020.
Human Rights Watch. 26 May 2021.