Amnesty International, along with 38 other humans rights organizations, is calling on Google to halt plans to establish a cloud data center in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has a history of human rights abuses, executing political protesters, digitally surveilling citizens and more. The country was linked to the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman believed to be behind the order.
Google announced its plans to open a cloud data center in Saudi Arabia, as the company continues its efforts to move up from the third largest cloud provider. The move is not going over well with human rights groups who are afraid the data center will give Saudi authorities more means to surveil opponents.
“Saudi Arabia has a dismal human rights record, including digital surveillance of dissidents, and is an unsafe country to host the Google Cloud Platform,” said Rasha Abdul Rahim, Director of Amnesty Tech.
“In a country where dissidents are arrested, jailed for their expression and tortured for their work – Google’s plan could give the Saudi authorities even greater powers to infiltrate networks and gain access to data on peaceful activists and any individual expressing a dissenting opinion in the Kingdom.
“Google must immediately halt any plans to establish a Cloud region in Saudi Arabia until the company can publicly demonstrate how it will prevent potential abuse of its platform.”
Google has yet to respond to the demands.