One of the largest corporations on the planet, the Jeff Bezos-founded behemoth has branched out into providing web services for most of the civilized world as well as other high-tech solutions and products to the U.S. military and law enforcement, including facial recognition programs.
Now, according to The Intercept, the company is “building out its security operation with over a dozen former FBI agents.”
The question is: Why?
The company is “rapidly hiring” for positions at its Arizona-based global security center. Apparently, Amazon, as it expands, is facing a host of new challenges to its infrastructure but also from governments who are increasingly concerned about potential antitrust violations.
But, The Intercept notes, as “counterfeiting issues” along with “pressure from worker activism” both increase as well, Amazon is adding “former FBI agents” who will “focus on security and intelligence-gathering ability.”
That’s a problem, frankly, for what is left of our privacy in this digital age, where consumer info is bought and sold openly and freely by tech companies that harvest every detail about us from our increasingly online presence.
“From 2017 to 2020, the $1.6 trillion technology behemoth hired 20 former FBI agents, at least two of whom appear to be responsible for monitoring the labor-organizing activity of its workers to keep unions out,” The Intercept reported.
Former FBI agent Cindy Wetzstein, who was hired last October by Amazon’s security center, noted in her LinkedIn bio that she’s an expert in “both tactical and strategic intelligence production.”
Meanwhile, Brian Brooks, who is a senior official at the one-time bookseller’s national security division, once served as a deputy assistant director at the FBI specializing in “deployment of advanced electronic surveillance tools.”
The expertise of just these two former agents speaks volumes about what Amazon is preparing for, or already doing.
The Intercept adds:
At least 26 ex-FBI agents and employees currently work at Amazon, holding positions in the security division, software development, human resources, and board of advisers, according to a review of LinkedIn. The company’s earliest hires were in 2007 and 2008 — for “Deputy Chief Information Security Officer and VP of Security Engineering” and “Chief Information Security Officer,” respectively — but hiring really started ramping up in 2019, when eight former law enforcement specialists were brought on board in security roles.
Granted, some of these former FBI agents are being hired for their expertise in being able to protect Amazon’s technology assets. For instance, one of Amazon’s divisions is Amazon Web Services, which has become one of the world’s biggest web hosts; the bureau hires and trains very good cyber security analysts and experts.
But, security division posts also include keeping an eye on employees — spying, in other words — activity that has, in the past, included monitoring for union activism, The Intercept notes. (Related: Situation Update, Feb. 12 – America’s corporations transform into TERRORISTS against the people.)
Amazon’s hiring of one-time law enforcers “follows a familiar path among other industries that have faced labor and activist pressure,” the outlet reported.
A company spokesperson essentially downplayed the hiring of the FBI agents.
“Like most companies, we have a longstanding team that helps prepare for and manage matters such as natural disasters, inclement weather, power outages, and events like concerts or parades that could disrupt traffic or affect the safety and security of our buildings and our employees who work in them,” said the spokesperson.
Last year, it was revealed that Amazon was trying to hire two “intelligence analysts” who would be assigned to track “labor organizing threats;” eventually the company hired two FBI agents and four other people to fill those posts.
See more reporting like this at Cyberwar.news.