Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE) is a U.S.-based multinational information technology (IT) service provider, which split from Hewlett-Packard Company in November 2015. Following the split, HPE focuses on institutional clients, and provides mainly storage (servers), cloud, networking, and software services. The second company, HP Inc., focuses on the manufacturing and retail of consumer hardware, such as personal computers and printers, and is the legal successor of the old Hewlett-Packard Company. Despite the split, the two companies are closely cooperating, sharing supply chains, and continue to buy together and bid on contracts together, to enjoy the competitive benefit of size.
Most of the information in this profile dates back to Hewlett-Packard Company and represents our assessment of the current situation. The 2015 corporate split was not followed by public disclosure by HPE clarifying the separation of specific business relationships and subsidiary companies. We reached out to both companies and asked for updated information, and we will update this page as we receive more information. See more information about this corporate split and about planned upcoming corporate spin offs near the end of this page.
We recommend HPE for divestment, because of its ongoing, continuous and significant involvement in human rights violations as a part of the Israeli occupation and because the company has not been responsive to concerned stakeholders. The company’s significant involvement includes the supply and maintenance of equipment for the Israeli military, including equipment specifically designed for military checkpoints, its business activities in illegal Israeli settlements, and the supply of Israeli ID systems, stratified by ethnicity and religion. These activities began in the 1990s with Hewlett-Packard Company, and continue today, despite repeated appeals from Palestinian and other stakeholders. Additionally, the company specializes in tools used for managing big populations, used around the world for surveillance, discrimination, mass incarceration and deportations.
Technologies for Israeli Military Checkpoints
HPE has a longstanding relationship with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to maintain the Basel System, a biometric access control system that is used to identify Palestinians who want to pass through Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territories. The system of checkpoints and discriminatory permits violates multiple international human rights and principles of international humanitarian law.
In 1999, the Israeli Ministry of Defense contracted EDS Israel to develop, install, and maintain the Basel system, which uses hand scanners and facial geometry to identify Palestinians and control their passage through military checkpoints. The initial contract was worth 10-million USD and was financed by the U.S. government. By 2010, the system was operational in twelve checkpoints on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. For more background information on the Basel system see WhoProfits’ report from 2011.
EDS was bought by Hewlett-Packard Company in 2008, and is now part of HPE. In 2016, the Israeli Ministry of Defense responded to a freedom of information inquiry submitted by WhoProfits, stating that HP is contracted to maintain and provide ongoing field support for Basel in West Bank and Gaza checkpoints at least until the end of 2017.
Management of Israeli Population Registry and ID System
HPE has a longstanding contract with the Israeli Ministry of Interior Affairs to operate and maintain the central database of Israel’s Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration (PIBA), which also includes the country’s population registry.
In the 1990s, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior launched Project Aviv to modernize the computerized database that contains its population registry. Hewlett-Packard Company has been managing the database since 2003, when it bought the company that initially designed it. Israeli government agencies that want to use the information need to pay per query of the database. The population registry records information about residents’ ethnic identity and religion. Israeli and Palestinian residents are required by law to carry at all times an ID card, which indicates their ethnicity and religion. This information is regularly used by the authorities on all levels to discriminate between Jews and non-Jews in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In 2008, Israel contracted EDS Israel, which is now HPE, for the Arbel project, which included creating a biometric database of Israeli citizens, stratified by ethnicity and religion. Beginning in 2013, Hewlett-Packard Company employees have been stationed with the system to provide technical assistance to Israeli government employees. In 2008, Hewlett-Packard Company also started producing biometric ID cards for Israeli residents, including Israeli citizens, Israeli West Bank settlers, and Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem. These ID cards mark ethnicity and religion information from the Aviv and Arbel systems. In 2017, Israel passed a law mandating all Israeli citizens to submit biometric information to the database. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is contracted to manage the database and produce the ID cards until 2025.
Services and Technologies to the Israeli Military, Prison System, and Police
HPE provides multiple services and technologies to the Israeli military, which is the primary Israeli authority that administers the military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In 2006, Hewlett-Packard Company was selected as the first private contractor to administer some of the military’s IT infrastructure, in a pilot program for the Israeli Navy, which is in charge of enforcing the illegal naval blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007. In 2009, HP was contracted to similarly “virtualize” the entire Israeli military. In 2011, Hewlett-Packard Company won a multi-year contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to be the exclusive provider of servers for the Israeli military and all other security forces. The original contract was for $500 NIS over a period of three years, and it has been repeatedly extended until 2017, when Cisco won a bid to replace it.
In 2007, the Israel Prison Service contracted Hewlett-Packard Company to develop, implement, and maintain a new information system, called Kidma, to include all its prisoner records system, prison management system, the prisons’ human resources system, and their intelligence system. The IPS terminated this contract after Hewlett-Packard Company failed to deliver the system. Still, the IPS has retained the services of Hewlett-Packard Company to maintain its servers and other IT infrastructure as well as to provide training for its personnel. Hewlett-Packard Company is contracted to provide these services to the Israel Prison Service at least until the end of 2017. The Israel Prison Service is in charge of all incarcerated persons in Israel/Palestine. As of October 2016, this includes some 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners, including approximately 720 persons in administrative detention, 400 child detainees, and 6 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Most Palestinian prisoners are transferred from the occupied Palestinian territories to prisons located within Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 76), which prohibits the transfer of prisoners outside an occupied territory. Furthermore, within the prison, Palestinian prisoners are separated from Israeli prisoners who were convicted for non-occupation-related offences, and are subject to torture and other discriminatory treatment by the Israel Prison Service.
Hewlett-Packard Company has provided various technology services to the Israel National Police, at least since 2004 and until 2016, including endpoint stations to use the above mentioned population database and other software, networking, and hardware products. The Israeli National Police is directly responsible for certain aspects of maintaining the occupation. The Israeli police force is in charge of enforcing the law within the occupied West Bank and providing security for the Israeli settlements. The police regional district headquarters is located in the controversial E-1 settlement area. Building the police station specifically in this area was a part of Israel’s plan to connect the Ma’ale Adumim settlement to East Jerusalem, in order to severely impede the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, while displacing Palestinian residents. In addition, the Border Police branch of the Israel National Police is regularly deployed in the occupied Palestinian territories, where it works under the command of the military, and it is also used routinely against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Services to Illegal Settlements
Hewlett-Packard Company has physical presence and business operations in several Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law, as was reaffirmed in 2016 by UN Security Council decision 2334. As Human Rights Watch highlighted in a 2016 report, “the only way settlement businesses can avoid or mitigate contributing to abuses in line with their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles is by ending their operations in settlements or in settlement-related commercial activity.”
The company operates a research and development (R&D) center in the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit. This center was established in 2006 by EDS, which was bought by Hewlett-Packard Company in 2008, and is now a part of HPE. The center employs ultra-orthodox women who live in the settlement. It used to be in a facility belonging to the Beitar Illit municipality, but in 2012 it was expanded and relocated into another structure through a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Trade and Industry worth hundreds of thousands of NIS. As of the beginning of 2017 the Beitar Illit center is still in operation.
In addition, Hewlett-Packard Company provides ICT services and technologies to two of the largest Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank: Ariel and Modi'in Illit. In 2005, the Israeli government chose Ariel to be the pilot city of its "Smart City" project, and Hewlett-Packard Company was chosen to implement the project. This included building a disaster-resilient storage system for critical municipal services and installing a municipal network system to deliver wireless Internet access to the city’s employees and residents.
Two companies that are in the supply chain of Hewlett-Packard Company, Matrix IT and its subsidiary Tact Testware, are located in the illegal settlement Modi'in Illit. Matrix IT distributes HP computers, servers and virtualization solutions. Its employees were trained by Hewlett-Packard Company to provide software and services. Tact Testware provides Hewlett-Packard Company with testing and automatization services.
Mass Incarceration, Policing, Immigrant Deportations, and Surveillance Systems Worldwide
Hewlett Packard Enterprise holds U.S. government contracts that form part of the U.S. mass incarceration system, which disproportionately targets poor people and people of color. One of HPE’s largest prison contracts is with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. HPE designed, implemented, and currently maintains California’s Strategic Offender Management System, which stores and tracks information on all current and former people incarcerated by the state. This data can be used to discriminate against formerly incarcerated persons years after their release. HPE’s contract with the State of California is in effect at least until 2019.
In 2010, the Enterprise Division of Hewlett-Packard Company, which is now HPE, was contracted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to design and implement a system to speed up deportation processes. The system automated the process by which the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) determines the immigration status and identity of suspects through tracking warrants, jail rosters and “criminal alien tracking.” Under the “Secure Communities Initiative,” this information was shared with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the U.S.
HPE has provided ICT services to multiple law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world. This includes a project to increase the efficiency of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office under Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was sued by the ACLU in 2007 and by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013, and was found guilty of discriminatory policing against Latinos, unconstitutional detention targeting Latino immigrants, and retaliating against his critics. According to HPE’s account of the project, Arpaio was “pleased” with the HPE technology, which his office has been using “for many years” in order to “support its professional law enforcement, detention and administrative services.” HPE provides similar IT services to police departments in Brazil, The UK, and The United Arab Emirates, among others.
In addition, Hewlett-Packard Company has supplied multiple governments with equipment for mass surveillance. In 2001, following the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, Hewlett-Packard Company donated “truckloads” of servers to the National Security Agency (NSA) to enable the creation of Stellar Wind, the mass domestic surveillance program of warrantless wiretapping. As of 2016, HPE still provides equipment to the NSA. Outside the U.S., Hewlett-Packard Company developed, along with Cisco, a system of 500,000 networked cameras for the city of Chongqing, China, in a project called “Peaceful Chongqing.” Responding to concerns that the equipment would be used by the Chinese authorities to repress political dissent, Hewlett-Packard executive Todd Bradley told the Wall Street Journal: “It's not my job to really understand what they're going to use it for. Our job is to respond to the bid that they've made.” Hewlett-Packard mass surveillance technologies have also been sold to the governments of Syria and Iran, bypassing U.S. limitations on such transactions, although these two sales were probably done through third parties and not directly from Hewlett-Packard Company.
Weapon Manufacturing and Other Military Services
Hewlett-Packard Company has been consistently ranked among the top-100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world since 2008, when it bought EDS, which was on the list before that. As of 2015, Hewlett-Packard Company was ranked 41th on the list, making a $2 billion profit that year from military contracts, which are currently held by HPE.
HPE offers a variety of technologies and services to militaries and security forces around the world. This includes the custom design of digitized command and control centers, which are battle management systems that enhance the efficiency of military operations.
Similarly, Hewlett-Packard Company designed a mission planning system to be used in the fighter jets and helicopters of the British Royal Air Force (RAF). During the 2011 airstrike campaign on Libya, Hewlett-Packard exceeded its contractual obligations with the UK government and deployed its technicians to the bombers’ home base to support the mission. This contract is now in the hands of HPE.
In the U.S., HPE has multiple contracts with the Department of Defense and other branches of the U.S. security forces. It’s largest U.S. defense contract is to manage the U.S. Navy’s intranet system, the largest intranet network in the world. This contract was renewed at least until 2018.
Additionally, Hewlett-Packard technology is used in specific weapon systems, such as the THAAD missile system.
In 2014, Hewlett-Packard Company pleaded guilty to felony bribery charges of its subsidiaries in Russia, Poland, and Mexico. Hewlett-Packard representatives bribed local government officials in the three countries to secure government contracts. The company was fined a total of $108 million in criminal and regulatory penalties.
HP Corporate Split and its Impact
Hewlett-Packard Company was organized into seven business segments: Personal Systems, Printing, the Enterprise Group (“EG”), Enterprise Services (“ES”), Software, HP Financial Services (“HPFS”), and Corporate Investments. In November 2015, the company split into two new entities: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE), and HP Inc. HPE is comprised of the Enterprise Group, Enterprise Services, Software, HPFS and certain parts of Corporate Investments. Personal Systems, Printing and the remaining parts of Corporate Investments now form HP Inc. As a result, Hewlett Packard Enterprise focuses on servers, storage, networking, converged systems, and services and software. Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s portfolio also includes big data analytics and applications, enterprise security, application testing, delivery management and IT operations management solutions. HP Inc.’s business focus is on personal systems (PC’s, laptops, tablets) and printing (printers, scanners, copiers).
In May 2016, HPE announced a planned merger with another company, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). The deal includes the merger of the Enterprise Services (“ES”) division of HPE with CSC to form a new company, DXC Technology, which is set to launch on April, 2017. According to the deal, DXC Technology will have half of its board assigned by HPE, and will maintain the relationships with other HPE and HP Inc. divisions on existing contracts. HPE shareholders will have 50% shares of the new company, making it another member of the “HP family.”
In September 2016, HPE announced an additional split, planned for the second half of 2017, this time cutting its Software division and merging it with British software company Micro Focus. HPE shareholders will have 50.1% of the shares of the new Micro Focus, an HPE senior executive will serve on the board of directors of the combined company, and HPE will nominate 50% of the independent directors to the combined company's board. Additionally, the new company will have to contract with HPE for some technologies for the first two years, and the two companies announced a new commercial partnership for the future use of programming platforms.
Economic Activism Highlights
- On April 12, 2016, the College Council of the University of Chicago passed a resolution to Divest University funds from apartheid, urging the university “ to withdraw, within the bounds of their fiduciary duty, investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings in companies profiting from human rights abuses and violations of international law in Palestine, including, Hewlett-Packard."
- March 25, 2016, The Unitarian Universalist Association and its endowment fund have implemented a human rights screen and divested from companies complicit in human rights violations, including HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
- On March 6, 2016, the Vassar Student Association voted to support the international BDS movement and to divest from companies profiting from Israeli human rights abuses, including Hewlett-Packard.
- On March 1, 2016, the University College London Union voted to support the BDS campaign, stating that the student union will “not have any commercial or investment relationship with companies that participate in Israeli violations of international law, including G4S, Veolia, HP and military companies that supply Israel such as BAE Systems and Raytheon.”
- The Undergraduate Student Government Assembly at University of Illinois-Chicago unanimously voted on February 16, 2016, to pass a resolution to divest from corporations profiting off the Israeli occupation and other human rights violations, including Hewlett-Packard.
- On January 19, 2016, a landslide vote by the University of South Florida student senate passed a joint resolution to divest from corporations who profit from "illegal and brutal occupation" in Palestine, including Hewlett-Packard. The resolution was later vetoed by the student government president.
- In November 2015 the student government at San Jose State University voted to divest from "companies that play an active role in the human rights violations committed by the Israeli Government in the Occupied Palestinian Territories" including HP.
- In November 2015, the University of California Santa Cruz student government reinstated a divestment resolution against HP that had originally passed in 2014, but was suspended pending an appeals process. The resolution calls on the university to drop its investments in any company that "profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine."
- In October 2015 the Human Rights Council of the city of Portland, Oregon demanded that the City Socially Responsible Investments Committee place HP on the city's "Do Not Buy" list due to its complicity in "serious human rights violations in the ongoing illegal and brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land."
- In May 2015 Princeton graduate students passed a referendum calling on the university to divest from companies such as Hewlett-Packard as it is "complicit in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip."
- In May 2015 the Olgethorpe University Student Senate passed a resolution to divest from Hewlett-Packard “based on evidence of their active role in human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
- In April 2015 the Student Senate of Earham College passed a resolution in support of divestment "from companies directly involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine", including Hewlett-Packard.
- Northwestern University students voted to divest from HP in February 2015, citing its involvement in the Israeli ID card system and global mass incarceration.
- In February 2015 the University of California Student Association, the official governing assembly of all University of California students, passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from companies “that violate Palestinian human rights,” specifically mentioning HP.
- Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from HP in November 2014, because it “provide[s] biometric identification systems used at Israeli military checkpoints, which restrict the freedom of movement of Palestinians, facilitate discrimination against Palestinians, and reinforce a stratification of citizenship.”
- In 2014, Britain’s National Union of Students called on its members to boycott HP because it is “complicit in financing and aiding Israel’s military.”
- In 2014, the University of New Mexico’s Graduate and Professional Student Association targeted HP for divestment because it “has restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians and reinforced a stratification of citizenship by providing biometric identification systems used at Israeli military checkpoints.”
- At UC Santa Cruz, in 2014, the student senate passed a divestment resolution against HP, stating “HP systems are installed in Israeli military checkpoints specifically designed to control and monitor Palestinian civilian movement and in military prisons.”
- In June 2014, the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly voted to divest from HP, citing "ten years of unsuccessful engagement with the corporation on its involvement in home demolitions."
- UC Riverside’s student government passed a resolution in the spring of 2014, stating HP “restrict[s] the freedom of movement of the Palestinian peoples within the West Bank by providing biometric identification systems used in the Israeli military checkpoints
- Loyola University in Chicago passed a 2014 divestment resolution that stated HP “provides discriminatory identification systems used by the Israeli military checkpoints and profits from mass incarceration.”
- A 2014 referendum passed by students at DePaul University decreed that HP “profit[s] from Israel's violation of the human rights of Palestinians and minorities within Israel.”
- Nordea Bank engaged HP in 2014.
- Students at UC Berkeley, in April 2013, passed a resolution against HP, stating it “provide[s] equipment, materials and technology to the Israeli military, including bulldozers and biometric identification systems.”
- The Oberlin College student senate voted in 2013 to divest from HP due to its “injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people by Israel.”
- Students at Canada’s York University Graduate Student Association voted in 2012 to divest from HP, citing its role in “Israeli human rights violations, war crimes and oppression.”
- The Friends Fiduciary Corporation (Quakers) divested in 2012, citing HP’s role “provides IT consulting services to the Israeli Navy.”
- In November of 2012, the Associated Students of UC Irvine voted unanimously to divest from HP, citing its “restricting the freedom of movement...by providing biometric identification systems used in the Israeli military checkpoints.”
- The United Methodist Church began engaging with HP in 2008, citing concern over “human rights policies and practices in Israel,” and four regional conferences voted to divest from it in 2013.