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'We do not want to disappear': Indigenous peoples go to court to save the Amazon from oil company greed

On February 27, hundreds of Indigenous Waorani elders, youth and leaders arrived in the city of Puyo, Ecuador. They left their homes deep in the Amazon rainforest to peacefully march through the streets, hold banners, sing songs and, most importantly, submit documents to the provincial Judicial Council to launch a lawsuit seeking to stop the government from auctioning off their ancestral lands in the Pastaza region to oil companies. An eastern jungle province whose eponymous river is one of the more than 1,000 tributaries that feed the mighty Amazon, Pastaza encompasses some of the world’s most biodiverse regions.

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Filthy rich: How Amazon and Jeff Bezos duped cities with their devil's bargain — and how to stop it from happening again

The richest man in the world, who heads one of the world's largest and richest corporations, is also filthy rich in arrogance and pomposity.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheers report that Amazon may pull out of New York deal after activist opposition

The Washington Post reported Friday that Amazon may withdraw from its proposal to build a new corporate campus in New York City because of widespread opposition. An Amazon exec anonymously quoted in the article indicated that the company was finding New York City to be too much of a hassle and said, “The question is whether it’s worth it if the politicians in New York don’t want the project, especially with how people in Virginia and Nashville have been so welcoming.”

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Angry New Yorkers confront Amazon execs at city council meeting: 'You're Worth $1 Trillion. Why Do You Need Our $3 Billion?'

After being kept in the dark about New York's $3 billion deal with Amazon, allowing the trillion-dollar corporation to build its new headquarters—complete with helicopter landing pad for CEO Jeff Bezos—in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, concerned New York City Council members and scores of angry New Yorkers on Wednesday angrily confronted company representatives over the plan.

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'We are not robots': Amazon workers walk out on Black Friday over low wages and 'inhuman conditions'

Amazon workers across Europe staged a walkout on Black Friday—when retailers offer major deals to holiday season shoppers the day after Thanksgiving—to protest low wages as well as "inhuman conditions" at company warehouses.

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The New Brazilian President Could Wreak Destruction on the Amazon Rainforest

In Memory of Chico Mendes (1944–1988)

Fishing with Testosterone

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Amazon Pitched ICE to Buy Its Facial Recognition Surveillance Technology: Report

Although deportations of undocumented immigrants were plentiful during the Barack Obama years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has become even more aggressive under the Trump Administration—and one of ICE’s allies could be Amazon.com.

Over the summer, the e-commerce giant met with ICE officials to discuss Rekognition, Amazon’s facial recognition technology. And while selling Rekognition to a major government agency like ICE could be highly profitable for Amazon, critics of ICE’s Trump-era methods are asserting that the potential for abuses is strong.

Alonzo Peña, ICE’s former deputy director, told the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) that if ICE uses Rekognition, possible overreach “should be an area of concern.”

Peña asserted, “If they have this technology, I can see it being used in any way they think will help them increase the numbers of detentions, apprehensions and removals.”

Peña also told POGO that under the Trump Administration, ICE’s methods have changed considerably from what they were under the Obama Administration. According to Peña, “In the past, certain areas like schools, churches and courts were off limits. There were policies in place that would prevent agents from going into those areas, but under this administration, a lot of those policies are no longer enforced.”

According to POGO, ICE agents visited Silicone Valley in June and met with Amazon representatives at the Redwood, California offices of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company (which, previously, had a management contract with ICE). And on June 15, an Amazon Web Service (AWS) rep sent a thank-you e-mail to ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) office.  

The rep wrote, “Thanks again for your interest in AWS to support ICE and the HSI mission…. If there’s interest in further exploration, we can schedule a meeting to review the process in more depth and help assess your target list of challenges.”

When POGO asked ICE how many times they had met with Amazon, an ICE spokesperson said, in an e-mail, “We can’t provide data on how often we’ve met with a particular vendor to discuss emerging technology they’re developing, but industry outreach and building relationships with potential contractors is fairly standard within government acquisition.”

In May, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) noted that some local police departments had been using Rekognition—including the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. And the ACLU was critical, describing Rekognition as “a product that can be readily used to violate civil liberties and civil rights…. Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns. Today, the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights organizations demanded that Amazon stop allowing governments to use Rekognition.”

Some Amazon employees have been wary of Rekognition as well. In an anonymous commentary for Medium.com, an Amazon employee complained, “We know from history that new and powerful surveillance tools left unchecked in the hands of the state have been used to target people who have done nothing wrong. In the United States, a lack of public accountability already results in outsized impacts and over-policing of communities of color, immigrants and people exercising their First Amendment rights. Ignoring these urgent concerns while deploying powerful technologies to government and law enforcement agencies is dangerous and irresponsible.”

Is It Time to Break up Amazon?

Let’s get this over with first: It’s an understatement to say consumers love shopping on Amazon.com.

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Amazon Alexa Device Recorded a Family's Private Conversation and Sent It to Someone on Their Contact List

A family in Portland, Oregon reports that an Amazon Alexa device recorded a private conversation and randomly sent it to a contact in Seattle.

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Trump 'Got His Start With Daddy's Money': Ex-NYT Editor Explains Why the President Hates Jeff Bezos

On MSNBC's "The Beat" with host Ari Melber on Monday, former executive editor of the New York Times Howell Raines offered a simple theory about why rich men like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates make President Donald Trump uncomfortable.

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Trump's Corrupt Abuse of Power on Display in New Report About His Efforts to Target Amazon

President Donald Trump has personally been pressuring the U.S. Postal Service to raise rates on Amazon, according to a new report from the Washington Post. While the report is not particularly surprising, given Trump's public statement on the matter, it also suggests he's engaging in high-level corruption in an attempt to punish Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Post.

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