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8 Nov 2019

Johana Bhuiyan, Los Angeles Times

GitHub employees demand company cancel ICE contracts in open letter

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Employees of Microsoft's GitHub demand company cancel its contract with ICE, 9 October, 2019

In an open letter... [GitHub] employees... said continuing to work with ICE would make the company “complicit in widespread human rights abuses"... "GitHub has held a ‘seat at the table’ for over 2 years, as these illegal and dehumanizing policies have escalated, with little to show for it. Continuing to hold this contract does not improve our bargaining power with ICE.” ... Employees at Microsoft, GitHub’s parent company, began protesting the software maker’s $19.4 million contract with ICE in June 2018 [stating] “We are part of a growing movement, comprised of many across the industry who recognize the grave responsibility that those creating powerful technology have to ensure what they build is used for good, and not for harm”... Whole Foods employees protested Amazon’s work with Palantir, a data-analytics company whose software has been used in ICE raids, and the company’s sale of facial recognition technology to law enforcement... “None of the tech CEOs who sat down with Trump after he got elected made a difference in the policies we see enacted today. Why would continued engagement yield anything different in the future?” [said] Jacinta Gonzalez, a senior campaign organizer at Mijente [an activist group leading protests against corporate ICE contracts]. “They’re deluding themselves, and we’re proud of the workers at these companies who see past the prevarication of their executives and see to the heart of the issue: If you work for ICE, you’re upholding this regime.”