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War Profiteer of the Month: Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinationalinformation technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. It provides hardware, software and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors. In the United States, HP is one of the top 25 defense contractors with the Pentagon/U.S. Department of Defense. HP also provides products and services to the Department of Homeland Security for enhanced immigration status checks

The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by William "Bill" Redington Hewlett and Dave Packard. HP is the world's leading PC manufacturer and has been since 2007, fending off a challenge by Chinese manufacturer Lenovo. It specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise and industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. HP markets its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises directly as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HP also has strong services and consulting business around its products and partner products. In 2012 it was the world's largest PC vendor by unit sales.

According to Washington Technology, well over half of HP’s  revenue from contracts with the federal government comes from the defense sector; additionally, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute includes HP among the top arms-producing and military services companies in the world. 

In the United States, HP is profitting from the US prison system and aiding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The HP website describes their provisions for prisons across the country with offender, healthcare, visitor and administrative management and kiosk services through their HP Offender Management service. Beginning in 2010, HP was awarded a contract by the US Department of Homeland Security ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) to speed up the internal process of deciding a person’s documentation status.

Profiting from the occupation

HP itself states: "Israel is one of the few countries where HP has a massive presence, including the following entities: HP Israel; The Indigo Division – Digital Printing Solutions; HP Industrial Printing (formerly Scitex Vision); HP Software (formerly Mercury) and HP Labs. HP is the second largest investor in Israeli IT". The company also states that "From 2001-2011, HP invested over $6 billion in the acquisition of Israeli companies, including the establishment of production plants". 

Since 2011 HP has been supplying the computer systems of the ministry of defense. The tender was worth an estimated NIS 500 million. Under the Ministry of Defense tender, the company was contracted to manage the ministry and IDF's server farms for five years. 

The Basel system

EDS has provided the Israeli ministry of defense with the development, installation, maintenance and on-going field support of the Basel System. The Basel System is an automated biometric access control system which includes a permit system for Palestinian workers, with hand and facial recognition, installed in checkpoints in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. The system was financed by the US government following the Wye River Memorandum. 

On September 12, 2011, Who Profits from the Occupation received a response from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to an inquiry the project submitted regarding the Basel System. The response confirmed that HP was contracted by the Ministry to operate and maintain the Basel System until December 31, 2012. The Ministry of Defense indicated that the system is installed at the following checkpoints in the occupied West Bank: Jericho, Bethlehem (Ma'avar Rachel), Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, Hebron, Abu Dis, Tarkumia and at the Ephraim Gate crossing (Sha'ar Efraim, Irtach).

In April 2013, Who Profits received an answer from the Israeli civil administration stating that the Israeli ministry of defense prolonged its contract with Hewlett Packard (HP) for the maintenance of the Basel system in checkpoints until June 30 2013. The response further states that the contract will be extended until the end of 2013, after the Israeli state budget will be approved by the Israeli parliament - the Knesset.

Services and technologies to the Israeli Army

HP has provided services and technologies to the Israeli army, among which is the administration of the Israeli navy's IT infrastructure. The Israeli navy enforces the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007. The IT infrastructure provided by HP to the Israeli navy was used by the Israeli military as a pilot for implementing the same system to the entire army, a “virtualization project” contract won by HP in 2009. In the same year, HP Global won another contract to supply all computer equipment to the Israeli military. The contract was signed for three years with an option to prolong it for another two years.

In addition, in May 2011, HP received a four years tender to implement and assimilate ERP SAP systems for the Israeli army in hundreds of thousands NIS. In December 2011 HP won a 500 million NIS tender to provide, implement and maintenance all the servers in the IDF and in the Israeli security forces. The tender is for three years with an option to prolong it for another two years. HP will provide the Israeli army with new servers and will also provide and assimilate accompanying equipment which includes different control systems. The contract was signed in the US and most of it was sponsored by the US Military Aid funds.

Services and technologies to the Israeli prison services (IPS)

HP also provides technological services to the Israeli prison's authority. In August 2012, the Israeli prison authority announced the signature of a contract with HP without a tender for the provision of central servers for the operational system of the IPS, "Tzohar". HP will also provide maintenance services for these servers. In addition, HP executed a project of e-mail storage and archive in the IPS.

According to a report of the state comptroller, in August 2006 the IPS published a tender to establish a new computing system, "Kidma" system, which was supposed to replace the information system of the IPS. In October 2007 the IPS signed a contract with HP to develop the system, which was supposed to include a human resources system, prisoners' management system, prison management system and an intelligence sub system. Initially the budget of the project was 43.2 million NIS. In 2004 it increased to 62.5 million NIS. The budget didn't include the maintenance of the system and until 2012 the budget increased to 144 million NIS, more than three times the initial budget. The project was supposed to be executed in 23 months and was estimated in 43 million NIS, yet, the project took 5 years and cost over 144 million NIS. The IPS commissioner stated that since 2010, the IPS hasn't been paying HP any funds. The IPS froze the money transfer to HP back in 2010 and in 28 February 2013, the IPS signed a termination contract with HP. Eventually, the amount paid to HP was 126 million NIS and the company completed 3 out of four systems that were required.         

According to a response received on December 2013, from the Israel Prison Service (IPS) to a freedom of information request by Who Profits. HP is contracted to provide printers and maintenance of HP systems and central servers until 2016, in the amount of tens of millions of shekels.

Services to settlements

HP provides services and technologies to two of the biggest Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank: Modi'in Illit and ArielMatrix and its subsidiary Tact Testware, which provide technological services to HP, are located in the illegal settlement Modi'in Illit. Matrix distributes HP computers, servers and virtualization solutions. Matrix's personnel were trained by HP to provide software and services. Tact Testware provides HP with licenses and services in the field of testing and automatization.

Biometric ID cards

In 2008, HP signed a contract with the Israeli Ministry of Interior for the production and manufacturing of biometric ID cards for Israel's citizens, including the Palestinian residents of Israel and occupied East Jerusalem.

The company operates and maintains the Aviv system, the computing company of the population, immigration and border passing authority. HP has been operating this system since 1997 without a tender. The authority has a contract with the company until the end of 2013.The Aviv system includes the "Yesha database" which contains information on the Israeli citizens in the settlements.  

In 2014, the population and immigration authority contracted HP to continue the maintenance and development of the foreign workers system (Maoz system) and assimilate the system into the Aviv system, for the amount of over 2 million NIS.

In 2011 HP was contracted without a tender to install a standpoint of the population registrar, which is connected to the population registrar system. The Arbel unit of the authority of population handles the replacement of passports to biometric ID's. The Arbel project includes the collection and archive of all the information about Israeli citizens. In 2013, state employees of the project were replaced by HP employees. In 2013, HP was contracted without a tender to supply hardware to the issuing machines, other than the software and the machines themselves. 

Smart City project

HP also takes part in the "Smart City" project in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ariel, providing a storage system for the settlement's municipality. The illegal settlement of Ariel was chosen by the Israeli government as a pilot city for this program.

Campaigns targeting HP are calling on this U.S. high-tech multinational company to stop supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as Israeli war crimes and human rights violations, and to pull out of its biometric ID projects which facilitate ethnic segregation and discrimination.