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Palantir Renews ICE Contract

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The software company Palantir has renewed its contract with the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement federal agency. Gothamist The Palo Alto data company announced it has re-upped its contract with ICE for the next three years, for a grand total of $49,874,018.14. Palantir will provide Investigative Case Management System software to ICE, which will use it to screen immigrants and determine whether they can stay. The company was first awarded the contract in 2014, and ICE’s system is based on Palantir's commercial Gotham software, which is used for managing, securing, and analyzing data. Icebreaker While Palantir is cool working with ICE, a lot of tech employees would rather not. The agency has been accused of violating human rights, as at least 24 people have died in ICE’s custody and the detention centers the agency places detainees in are reportedly dangeroulsy overcrowded. Palantir’s software is hosted by Amazon’s cloud computing services, much to the dismay of many of the tech giant’s employees, who are urging the company to cut all ties with ICE, recently posting a widely viewed internal letter arguing that working with the company harms Amazon’s reputation. Stop It As news reports about ICE’s treatment of immigrants have proliferated this summer, so have calls from shareholders and employees to stop working with immigration agencies. Google employees are petitioning the company not to bid on ICE contracts, and Microsoft employees also want their company to not work with ICE. Last May, Amazon shareholders rejected proposals to stop selling their facial recognition technology to government agencies, as ICE uses it to search through driver’s license databases, and to investigate the extent to which it violated privacy. Amazon has said it would be okay with some government regulation of the technology. -Michael Tedder Photo by Palantir.com