Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay
In 1898 Herman Hollerith invented the Hollerith punch card and sorting machine and founded IBM in Germany. This machine could process 24,000 cards per hour bringing unprecedented organisational efficiency which the Nazis exploited.
The machines needed servicing once a month so a corps of IBM technicians travelled through Germany and Romania, even visiting concentration camps.
Hollerith machines enabled the Nazis to industrialise genocide. Census data was analysed to produce lists of Jews, Gypsies (Roma) and other so-called untermensch or sub-humans who were then rounded up and entrained for extermination in notorious killing centres like Auschwitz.
Today, Hewlett-Packard (HP) runs the BASEL access and control system installed in Israeli military checkpoints through which most Palestinians have to pass daily. It consists of biometric sensors which afford unrivalled surveillance and control over the civilian Palestinians.
For example, Palestinian homes are carefully monitored for any fluctuations in gas, electricity or water usage, which may indicate changes in the household composition, and so a raid is initiated.
HP also provides the Israeli navy with advanced electronic infrastructure which enables it to aggressively harass Gazan fisherfolk, maintain Israel’s siege of Gaza, and to illegally intercept humanitarian aid flotillas like the Mavi Marmara in international waters. Boycott HP products!