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8 Nov 2019

Nat Friedman and the GitHub Leadership Team, GitHub

GitHub open letter to employees regarding ICE contact renewal

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"GitHub and US Government developers", 9 October

In August, the GitHub leadership team learned about a pending renewal of our product by [ICE]... GitHub does not have a professional services agreement with ICE [and] is not consulting with ICE... GitHub has no visibility into how [our on-premise] software is being used... We have spoken out as a company against [the current administration’s immigration policies] and joined with other companies in protesting them... In approaching the topic of government purchases, we use the same overarching policy framework as Microsoft... We do not know the specific projects that the on-premises GitHub Enterprise Server license is being used with, but recognize it could be used in projects that support policies we both agree and disagree with... [W]e do have license terms for GitHub Enterprise Server, and also terms of service and acceptable use policies for GitHub.com... That applies to ICE and any other GitHub users or customers... [W]e believe the appropriate way to advocate for our values in a democracy is to use our corporate voice, and not to unplug technology services when government customers use them to do things to which we object... As a result, the GitHub leadership team intends to take the following steps: We will continue to participate in policy and advocacy efforts to change the current... immigration policies like the family separation policy and the effort to rescind DACA... We will donate $500,000—in excess of the value of the purchase by ICE—to nonprofit organizations working to support immigrant communities targeted by the current administration...[W]e will continue to encourage and support employees who want to donate their time or other resources to causes in support of humane immigration policies and migrant rights.