HP Inc.

Who are they?

HP Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers of personal computers and printers, with a reported revenue of $48.24 billion. It is the legal successor of Hewlett-Packard Company, after the latter split into two companies in 2015. The remnants of the defunct Hewlett-Packard Company currently form three separate corporations:

  • HP Inc., which is the legal successor of the historic Hewlett-Packard Company, manufactures and sells consumer hardware, mainly personal computers, laptops, printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HP Enterprise or HPE) is mainly a provider of sells servers, networking, data storage equipment, and software services to institutional clients. HP Enterprise split in April 2017 to form DXC Technology, and is due to split again later in 2017, selling its software business to the UK-based company MicroFocus.
  • DXC Technology, a new company that launched in 2017 as the merger of the Enterprise Services segment of the historic Hewlett-Packard Company with the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). It focuses on outsourced IT services and the design and implementation of custom-made IT platforms for institutional clients such as government agencies and big corporations.

Hewlett-Packard Company, the original company that is now defunct, has worked closely with the Israeli military and several Israeli authorities on a wide range of occupation-related projects at least since the 1990s. Many of these were transferred to HP Enterprise after the 2015 split, and some are now handled by DXC Technology. We believe it is the responsibility of HP Inc. to respond to public concerns and clarify the scope of its current involvement in each and every one of these. As the legal successor of Hewlett-Packard Company, HP Inc. also has an obligation to remedy harms created by its past involvement.

The corporate restructuring was not followed by public disclosure about the separation of specific business relationships and subsidiary companies in Israel, and the status of their contracts. We reached out to HP Inc. with a request for clarifications, but we received no response. However, the companies publicly stated that they cooperate closely, share supply chains, buy together and bid on contracts together.

This profile describes these different contracts and our assessment as to their present status, based on the limited available information.

What do they do?

Current Involvement in the Israeli Occupation of Palestine

HP Inc.’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had a long and extensive business relationship with the Israeli Military and other security forces, including supplying custom-designed technologies for maintaining the occupation of the Palestinian people. Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, most of these contracts are no longer with HP Inc. These past activities are listed below in the next sections.

However, HP Inc. still sells computers to the Israeli military. In 2009, Hewlett-Packard Company won a bid to be the exclusive provider of personal computers (PCs) to all units of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, including the Israeli military and other security forces. The Israeli military is the primary Israeli authority that administers the military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This contract was last renewed in 2014 for three years, with an option to be renewed until 2019. Most purchases under this ongoing contract are financed through the U.S. foreign military sales program. Since the manufacturing and sales of PCs is the core activity of HP Inc., it is likely that this contract is now in the hands of HP Inc.

Past Involvement in the Israeli Population Registry and ID System

HP Inc.’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had 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. The 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. Israeli authorities regularly use this information to discriminate between Jews and non-Jews in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In the 1990s, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior launched the Aviv Project to modernize the computerized database that contains its population registry. The company that was contracted to design the new database was Digital Equipment Corporation, which was later bought by Compaq, which in 2003 merged with Hewlett-Packard Company. In 2008, Israel launched the Arbel project, which was a pilot for adding biometric data of Israeli citizens into the population registry. The company that was contracted to implement this project was Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which in 2008 was bought by Hewlett-Packard Company. Beginning in 2013, Hewlett-Packard Company employees have been stationed at system terminals located in Israeli government buildings in order to provide technical assistance to Israeli government employees. In addition, 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.

Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, these contracts were transferred to HP Enterprise. It is likely, but not confirmed, that some of these activities are now carried out by DXC Technology, along with the other past activities of EDS. However, since printing services are one of HP Inc.’s core business model, it is possible that the physical printing of the ID cards is still handled by HP Inc.

Past Services and Technologies to the Israeli Military, Prison System, and Police

HP Inc.’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had provided 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 Israeli military’s IT infrastructure. The project started with a pilot program for the Israeli Navy, which is in charge of enforcing the illegal naval blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007. In 2009, the contract was expanded to similarly “virtualize” the entire Israeli military. If this contract is still active, it was transferred to HP Enterprise in 2015, and it is likely that it is now carried out by DXC Technology. However, we have no current information on these activities.

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 other Israeli security forces. Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, this contract was transferred to HP Enterprise. This contract was 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 Israeli Prison Service is in charge of all incarcerated persons in Israel/Palestine. As of April 2017, this includes some 6,400, among whom about 500 are in in administrative detention and 300 are children. Most Palestinian prisoners are transferred from the occupied Palestinian territories 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 subject them to torture and other discriminatory treatment. The Israeli 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 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 HP Enterprise, which is contracted to provide these services at least until the end of 2017.

Hewlett-Packard Company has also 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 Police is in charge of enforcing the law within the occupied West Bank and providing security for the illegal Israeli settlements. Furthermore, the police regional district headquarters was built in the controversial E-1 settlement area as 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 is under military command, and it is also used routinely against Palestinian citizens of Israel. Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, these activities were transferred to HP Enterprise. It is likely, but not confirmed, that some of them are now carried out by DXC Technology.

Past Business Operations in Occupied Palestinian Territories

HP Inc.’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, had multiple business operations in Jewish-only Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, which 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.”

Hewlett-Packard Company had operated a research and development (R&D) center in Beitar Illit, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. The center, first established in 2006 by Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in a facility of the Beitar Illit municipality, was relocated in 2012 into a new building, shared with Malam Team and Citybook Services. Starting in 2008, in operated under Hewlett-Packard Company. Between 2015 and 2017 it belonged to HP Enterprise, and after the 2017 split it was transferred to DXC Technology.

Hewlett-Packard Company was contracted in 2005 by the Israeli government to implement a pilot of its “Smart City” project in Ariel, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. This project 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. If this contract is still active, it was transferred to HP Enterprise in 2015, but we have no current information on its status.

Two companies that were 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 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 automatization services.

Involvement in Worldwide Military Operations, Mass Incarceration, Policing, Immigrant Deportations, and Surveillance Systems

HP Inc.’s legal predecessor, Hewlett-Packard Company, has been consistently ranked among the top-100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world since 2008. As of 2015, Hewlett-Packard Company was ranked 41th on the list, making a $2 billion profit that year from military contracts. Most of these contracts are now in the hands of DXC Technology. Additionally, HP technology is used in specific weapon systems, such as the THAAD missile system.

Hewlett-Packard Company had also provided IT services to multiple law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world. Following the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Company, most of these contracts are no longer with HP Inc., and information about them is included in the profiles of HP Enterprise and DXC Technology.

However, HP Inc. technologies are still currently used by a variety of prisons and law enforcement agencies that form part of the U.S. mass incarceration system, which disproportionately targets poor people and people of color. One of HP Inc.’s largest U.S. institutional contracts is with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, one of the world’s largest incarceration systems, which uses HP Inc. printing solutions to increase its productivity.

Other Controversies

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.

Who else has taken divestment action against this company?

  • 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.