Connect with us

BOOYAH

Tech Engineers Issue Brutal Response To Trump’s Proposal To Build Muslim Database

Hundreds of Silicon Valley engineers from the largest tech companies have pledged not to help Donald Trump’s administration build a Muslim registry. The news comes in the wake of a Trump meeting with U.S. tech leaders including Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Alphabet’s Larry Page on Wednesday.

In an open letter, employees of Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and as well as hundreds of smaller organizations have signed the neveragain.tech promise to “refuse to build a database of people based on their constitutionally-protected religious beliefs” and have said they “are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies”.

“We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies,” reads an open letter posted at neveragain.tech. “We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable.”

Signatories include software engineers, developers and managers. They have promised to limit access from the Trump administration to data that can be collected if it could potentially help target sections of the population, and even to call for “high-risk” datasets to be deleted.

They say they will also blow the whistle on unethical or illegal uses of data, and resign if forced to participate in those activities.

The president-elect voiced support on the campaign trail for creating a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. His transition team has suggested the reinstatement of a program put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System which required heightened scrutiny of people from “higher risk” countries. The program was halted in 2011 after criticism it targeted Muslims.

The letter draws comparison to the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The employees say they are a mix of engineers, designers and business executives hailing from a smattering of tech companies, even Palantir Technologies, the data-mining start-up and government contractor co-founded by Peter Thiel, the billionaire tech investor who is advising the Trump transition team.

The president-elect voiced support on the campaign trail for creating a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. His transition team has suggested the reinstatement of a program put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System which required heightened scrutiny of people from “higher risk” countries. The program was halted in 2011 after criticism it targeted Muslims.

Prior to Mark Zuckerberg’s meeting with Mr. Trump in New York on Wednesday, Facebook issued a statement: “No one has asked us to build a Muslim registry, and of course we would not do so.”


Don't miss the latest Political Digs. Sign up for our daily email:


Click to comment
Advertisement
Advertisement

More in BOOYAH