If Then

Critics Warn of Trusting Palantir to Work With the United Nations

Palantir has been criticized for building predictive policing tech. Now the company is working with the U.N.

Listen to If Then by clicking the arrow on the audio player below, or get the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On today’s show, host Will Oremus looks at the fallout from Amazon’s announcement last week that they’re abandoning plans for a new headquarters in New York City. Some celebrated it as a victory; others mourned a missed opportunity. Still others were mad that Amazon took its ball and went home rather than negotiating a fairer deal.


Then, April Glaser talks with Faine Greenwood from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, where she focuses on the role of drones and data-intensive foreign aid projects. Her latest piece for Slate is headlined “Why Humanitarians Are Worried About Palantir’s New Partnership With the U.N.”


6:02 - Interview with Faine Greenwood

23:15 - Don’t Close My Tabs

Stories discussed on the show:

Slate: New York’s Anti-Amazon Movement Is Now a Blueprint for Critics of Big Tech

Slate: Why Humanitarians Are Worried About Palantir’s New Partnership With the U.N.

Don’t Close My Tabs:

April: New Yorker: Private Mossad for Hire

Will: Wired: AR Will Spark the Next Big Tech Platform—Call It Mirrorworld

Podcast production by Max Jacobs.

You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.