A US-based computer hardware manufacturer, the legal successor of the Hewlett-Packard Company. Was involved in multiple human rights violations as part of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as in US mass incarceration, immigrant deportations, policing, and surveillance.
HP Inc is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers of personal computers, laptops, printers, scanners, and other computer peripheral devices. It was created in 2015 as the legal successor of the Hewlett-Packard Company, which split up at that time and no longer exists as such.
Since the 1990s and until its 2015 restructuring, the now defunct Hewlett-Packard Company has worked closely with the Israeli military and other branches of the Israeli government on a wide range of projects related to the occupation of Palestine. As far as we know, HP Inc is no longer involved in these activities. However, as the legal successor of Hewlett-Packard Company, HP Inc has a legal obligation to remedy harms created by its predecessor.
This profile focuses on the past involvement of Hewlett-Packard Company until 2015 and of those of HP Inc since 2015. Other companies that took over divisions and business activities of the now-defunct Hewlett-Packard Company include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, DXC Technology, Perspecta, and MicroFocus.
Past Involvement in the Israel's Military Checkpoints and Population Registry
HP Inc’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had multiple contracts related to Israel’s control of the occupied Palestinian civilian population through checkpoints, population registries, and ID cards.
Hewlett-Packard Company provided the Israeli Ministry of Defense with the Basel System, a biometric system designed to control which Palestinians are allowed to cross Israel’s illegal military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The system was custom-designed for the needs of Israel’s military occupation. After 2005, any Palestinian seeking to cross a Basel-equipped checkpoint was required to have a magnetic card with multiple biometric markers: fingerprints, hand and retinal scans, and facial data. Hewlett-Packard Company was the system integrator, in charge of system development, installation at the checkpoints, and system maintenance, including ongoing field support at the checkpoints. The initial contract, financed by the U.S. government as part of the 1998 Wye River Memorandum, was awarded to Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which was bought by Hewlett-Packard Company in 2008. In 2015, the contract was transferred to Hewlett Packard Enterprise. At the end of 2016, the Israeli military retired the Basel System and replaced it with a newer system it has developed in-house.
Hewlett-Packard Company also had a longstanding contract with the Israeli Ministry of Interior Affairs to operate the central database of Israel’s Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority. The database includes Israel’s population registry, which records information about residents’ ethnic identity and religion. Israeli and Palestinian residents are required by law to carry an ID card at all times, which indicates their ethnicity and religion. Israeli authorities use this information to discriminate between Jews and non-Jews in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory. Hewlett-Packard Company's involvement began in 2003, when it acquired Compaq, the company which held the contract for Israel’s Aviv Project aiming to modernize the computerized database that contains Israel's population registry.
Five years later, following its acquisition of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in 2008, Hewlett-Packard Company started working on Israel’s Arbel Project, adding biometric data to its population registry. That same year, Hewlett-Packard Company was also contracted for producing biometric ID cards for Israeli residents, including Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem. Beginning in 2013, Hewlett-Packard Company employees were stationed at system terminals located in Israeli government buildings to provide technical assistance with the system. Following the 2015 corporate restructuring of Hewlett-Packard Company, these contracts were transferred to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and then to DXC Technology in 2017. In 2019, IBM assumed responsibility for Israel’s population registry as part of a contract to design a new system.
Past Operations in Illegal Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
HP Inc’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had multiple business operations in the illegal settlement industry in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Between 2008 and 2015, Hewlett-Packard Company operated a research and development (R&D) center in Beitar Illit, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank near Bethlehem. The center was established in 2006 by Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which Hewlett-Packard Company acquired in 2008. After Hewlett-Packard Company split in 2015, this facility was operated by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and since 2017 it has operated under DXC Technology.
In a separate project, the Israeli government contracted Hewlett-Packard Company in 2005 to implement a pilot of its "Smart City" project in Ariel, an illegal Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank. This project included building a disaster-resilient storage system for critical municipal services and installing a municipal system of wireless Internet to the city’s employees and residents. We have no information on the current status of this contract or in the involvement of HP Inc in it.
Two companies that were in the supply chain of Hewlett-Packard Company, Matrix IT and its subsidiary Tact Testware, were located in the illegal settlement Modi'in Illit. Matrix IT distributed HP computers, servers, and virtualization solutions. Its employees were trained by Hewlett-Packard Company to provide software and services. Tact Testware has provided Hewlett-Packard Company with testing and automation services. We have no current information on the status of these business relationships.
Past Provision of Technologies to the Israeli Military, Prisons, and Police
HP Inc was the exclusive provider of personal computers (PCs) to the Israeli military and other security forces, at least until 2017 and potentially until 2019. In 2009, the Israeli Ministry of Defense awarded this contract to Hewlett-Packard Company, HP Inc’s legal predecessor. Most purchases under this contract were financed through the U.S. foreign military sales program. This contract was renewed in 2014 for three years with an option to be extended until 2019. In 2015, HP Inc assumed responsibility for this contract, however we have no indication that it was renewed past 2017. It is unclear what company, if any, is the exclusive supplier of computers to the Israeli military.
Previously, HP Inc’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had provided multiple other services and technologies to the Israeli military and other Israeli government agencies which administer the military occupation of Palestine.
In 2011, Hewlett-Packard Company won a multi-year contract to be the exclusive provider of computer servers for the Israeli military and other security forces. Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, this contract was transferred to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which was responsible for it until 2017, when Cisco Systems won a bid to replace it.
In addition, in 2006 Hewlett-Packard Company was selected as the first private contractor to administer some of the Israeli military’s IT infrastructure. The project started with a pilot program for the Israeli Navy, which has enforced the illegal naval blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007. In 2009, the contract was expanded to the entire Israeli military, but it is no longer active.
In addition to the Israeli military, Hewlett-Packard Company had a business relationship with the Israel Prison Service. This government agency is in charge of all incarcerated persons in Israel, including Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation, many of whom are in “administrative detention,” i.e. prolonged incarceration without charge or trial, and many others are children. Most Palestinian prisoners are transferred from the occupied Palestinian territory to prisons located within Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 76). Furthermore, the Israel Prison Service separates Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisoners and subjects them to torture and discriminatory treatment.
In 2007, the Israel Prison Service contracted Hewlett-Packard Company to develop, implement, and maintain a new information system, named Kidma, to include all prisoner records, a prison management system, the prisons’ human resources system, and the Prison Service’s intelligence system. The Israel Prison Service terminated this contract after Hewlett-Packard Company failed to deliver the system. Still, it retained the services of Hewlett-Packard Company to maintain its computer servers and other IT infrastructure as well as to provide training for its personnel. Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, this contract was transferred to Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Hewlett-Packard Company has also provided various technology services to the Israel National Police, which is in charge of enforcing Israel’s military law in the occupied West Bank and providing security for the illegal Israeli settlements. In addition, the Border Police branch is regularly deployed in the occupied Palestinian territory, where it is under military command. At least between 2004 and until 2015, Hewlett-Packard Company has provided the Israeli Police with endpoint stations for the above-mentioned population registry database as well as other software, networking, and hardware products. Since the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, these business activities have been handled by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Past Involvement in Militarism, Prisons, Deportations, Policing, and Mass Surveillance
HP Inc’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, was consistently ranked among the top-100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world from 2008 until it split up in 2015. In 2015, the company was ranked 41th on the list, and $2 billion of its revenue was from military contracts. Additionally, technology made by Hewlett-Packard Company has been used in specific weapon systems, such as the THAAD missile system. As a result of the company’s 2015 corporate restructuring, HP Inc is no longer a major military contractor.
Hewlett-Packard Company was involved in U.S. immigrant deportations and mass surveillance. In 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracted the company to design and implement a system to speed up deportation processes. The system automated the process by which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) determines the immigration status and identity of the people it arrests. Under the “Secure Communities Initiative,” this information was shared with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. Before that, following the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001, Hewlett-Packard Company donated “truckloads” of computer servers to the National Security Agency (NSA) for the creation of Stellar Wind, the domestic mass surveillance program of warrantless wiretapping. Since 2015, HP Inc no longer engages in these types of business activities.
Hewlett-Packard Company was also involved in the U.S. mass incarceration system. For example, in 2014, the company was contracted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to design, implement, and provide ongoing support for California’s Strategic Offender Management System. The system stores and tracks information on all of California's currently and formerly incarcerated people, and this data can be used to discriminate against formerly incarcerated persons years after their release. Since 2015, HP Inc no longer engages in these kinds of business activities.
Hewlett-Packard Company’s involvement in policing in the U.S. included 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 Latinx people. According to the company’s account of the project, Arpaio was “pleased” with this technology, which his office used to “support its professional law enforcement, detention and administrative services.”
Outside the U.S., Hewlett-Packard Company provided similar IT services to police departments in Brazil and the United Arab Emirates, among others. Before that, in 2011, Hewlett-Packard Company developed together with Cisco the “Peaceful Chongqing” system of 500,000 networked cameras for surveilling the city of Chongqing, China. Responding to concerns that the equipment would be used by Chinese authorities to repress political dissent, an HP executive stated: “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.”
- On July 13, 2019, Unite the Union, the second largest British and Irish trade union, joined the Boycott HP campaign. In June 2019, Unite’s Executive Council passed a resolution to end buying of HP products and replace existing ones.
- On April 18, 2019, Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV), the largest trade union of the Netharlands with 1.1 million members, dropped HP as a partner stating, “as long as we do not know for certain that HP is not complicit in human rights abuses, we will no longer include them as an offer in FNV Membership Offers”.
- On June 10, 2018, the Students Federation of India (SFI), representing four million students in India, decided to join the BDS movement by pledging to boycott HP products. The General Secretary of SFI pledged that the federation will push the HP boycott campaign across colleges and universities in India and work to convince university administrations to adopt procurement policies that prohibit business with HP companies.
- On May 23, 2018, the student senate at the University of Oregon passed a divestment resolution to divest from companies including the Strauss Group, the Osem Group, Hewlett-Packard Company, Ahava, General Electric, Eden Springs, Motorola, G4S, Elbit Systems. The resolution also prohibited the purchase of products from Sabra, Tribe, Sodastream, and the companies listed above.
- On May 23, 2018, student government of the California State University- East Bay unanimously endorsed a divestment resolution calling to divest from corporations profiting from the occupation of Palestine. The companies listed include Motorola Solutions, G4S, Hewlett Packard, and Caterpillar.
- On April 9, 2018, the Dublin City Council formally supported and endorsed the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement and discontinued all business contracts it has with Hewlett-Packard and its spin-off DXC Technology.
- On November 15, 2017, the University of Michigan's central student government passed a resolution for the University to divest from corporations that are involved in the human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including Boeing, G4S, Hewlett-Packard, and United Technologies.
- 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."
- On November 24, 2016, councilors on Derry City and Strabane District Council publicly handed back their council-issued HP printers, "in protest over contracts it holds with Israel".
- 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.