Tech giants are already in the news for providing a diverse range of technology services for the military and supplying law enforcement agencies with state-of-the-art facial recognition software.
Now, Amazon, which started as an online bookseller is focusing on security by hiring twenty-six FBI agents for its global security center in Arizona.
The expansion will help in facing new challenges such as:
- Counterfeiting issues
- Antitrust scrutiny
- Work activism pressure
The tech behemoth has hired at least two FBI agents to keep the unions out by monitoring the labor-organizing activity of its employees.
Several former FBI agents like Cindy Wetzstein and Brian Brooks who held responsible posts in the FBI now work with Amazon in its Arizona security facility for developing better security measures.
So, it will come as no surprise that as many as 26 former FBI agents and employees hold key positions in different departments like software development, security division, advisory board, human resources, and so on in the Arizona security operation facility.
While Amazon started hiring FBI agents from the year 2007-2008, it ramped up the recruitment in 2019.
Amazon is one of the largest web hosts worldwide. It has hired ex-FBI agents to prevent attacks and theft on the wide range of merchandise.
While the new hires in the security division monitor employees and track their union activities to avoid pressure from the labor activists.
According to Amazon spokesperson, hiring FBI agents is a natural process to ensure the safety of the buildings and employees during natural disasters or other events posing a threat to security and safety.
But, Amazon is focusing more on tracking the employee activities related to labor activism.
The tech-giant is employing services of specialists to collect and monitor information on organized labor.
It came to public scrutiny when Amazon had to delete job listings after backlash from the labor groups as well as the general public.
The listing included the job listing of intelligence analysis with experience in security as the preferred qualification.
While the spokesperson for the company tried to smoothen the ruffled feathers by indicating the inaccuracy in the job description. The company is still posting jobs with similar requirements for its security division.
Not just Amazon, many tech-giants are monitoring and overcoming threats from perceived opponents by employing experts.
From major financial firms, oil & gas companies, to casinos, many organizations have tapped efficient ex-FBI personnel with ties and capability to track and overcome corporate threats.
For example, Walmart has a centralized system to track employee’s activities, including their political sentiment and sympathies.
This system allowed getting information regarding protest from demonstrators and squashing it by using combined effort from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Similarly, Amazon has fended off issues cropping due to unionization with tactics and union-busting strategies with the help of the ex-FBI employees.
It has an internal surveillance apparatus, developed by the known spy agency to detect worker’s activities.
It remains unclear how far Amazon can succeed in preventing the unionization using the tactics and strategies developed by the ex-FBI specialists.
Currently, the company is facing one of the largest union pushes with more than six thousand employees in the Amazon Birmingham facility voting to form a union.
Many workers may vote in favor of union formations due to the firm’s abusive work practices.
Many workers are fed up with the grueling work hours with no pay increase, while the company has recorded great profits.