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More than 800 independent musicians announced an initiative on Thursday called "No Music for ICE," pledging not to participate in Amazon-sponsored events or exclusive partnerships with the tech giant over its entanglements with the U.S. immigration authority.

Why it matters: This cultural push — spurred by Amazon Web Services' sponsorship of a Las Vegas music festival — highlights how companies are increasingly facing pressure from all sides to answer for how their work impacts hot-button issues in the Trump era.

  • Amazon's work with ICE has already forced internal and external revolts within the tech industry.

The big picture: Amazon, along with fellow tech company Palantir, came under fire last year in an advocacy group report for "their involvement at multiple points in the profiling, tracking and apprehension of undocumented persons."

  • The report found that Amazon served as the "primary cloud service provider" for ICE.
  • It also noted that Palantir was the agency's "provider of case management that can be integrated with key DHS fusion centers and local and state law enforcement agencies."
  • Amazon also marketed its facial recognition software, Rekognition, to ICE last year, prompting concerns that the technology could facilitate racial discrimination by identifying women and people of color less accurately than men and white people.

The demands to Amazon from the artists:

  • Terminate contracts with government agencies that "commit human rights abuses."
  • Stop providing cloud services to organizations like Palantir.
  • End its facial recognition program.

What they're saying: Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis, one of the voices leading the protest, told Brooklyn Vegan, "Navigating the ethics of the music industry can be tricky, but it shouldn’t be tricky to say no to opportunities that are complicit with ICE. Doing so would be antithetical to many of our missions as artists, and it’s time to say we won't."

  • Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: Check out the full list of participating musicians.

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.