USA: Tech companies say they would oppose Trump's proposed Muslim immigrant registry

2678 employees of tech companies took a stance on the proposed Muslim registry, vowed to protect privacy & engage in responsible whistleblowing and Microsoft, Apple, Google, Lyft, Automattic, and Uber have all stated publicly they would not participate in helping build a Muslim registry for the incoming Trump administration, if asked. Oracle, on the other hand, declined to comment when asked about the registry or whether it still works with the NSA. 

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Author: 20 minutos

Las respuestas al polémico veto migratorio [que suspende la admisión de refugiados durante 120 días (los sirios de manera indefinida) y prohíbe la concesión de visados a ciudadanos de siete países de predominancia musulmana] impuesto por el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, no se han hecho esperar. Numerosas empresas se han posicionado en contra de esta orden y han anunciado que tomarán medidas para contrarrestarla con los recursos de que disponen...Ford rechazó el polémico veto...Starbucks ha anunciado que contratará a 10.000 refugiados durante los próximos cinco años en los 75 países en los que opera....También ha señalado que "construirá puentes, no murallas" con México, donde emplea a más de 7.000 personas en 600 tiendas distribuidas a lo largo de 60 ciudades. Por su parte, Brian Chesky, cofundador y director de Airbnb, escribió en Twitter que "cerrar las puertas divide [ ...]"...Google también se ha posicionado en contra del veto migratorio...Brad Smith, presidente de Microsoft, ha escrito...una misiva a sus trabajadores...Mark Zuckerberg, creador de Facebook, también mostró su preocupación...Tim Cook también ha dejado clara la posicion de Apple...Ejecutivos de otras compañías también se han pronunciado en contra de las políticas anti-inmigración del nuevo presidente de Estados Unidos, entre ellos...Netflix...Twitter...Viber (parte de Rakuten)...

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17 January 2017

Technology workers to protest Palantir over reports it will help US Govt. track immigrants & foreign travellers

Author: Spencer Woodman, Verge (USA)

Tech workers are protesting Palantir’s involvement with immigration data, 13 Jan. 2016

Due in part to a Verge report from last month, a group of tech workers in Silicon Valley has announced that it will hold a demonstration outside the headquarters of Palantir Technologies in Palo Alto next Wednesday to protest the company’s involvement in intelligence systems used by federal immigration authorities. Since Donald Trump’s upset victory in November, Palantir has made headlines both for its close relationship with the incoming Republican administration and its involvement in government data platforms that could be used to support Trump’s planned mass deportations and what he calls “extreme vetting” of immigrants seeking to enter the country.

“We want to make it clear that the overall tech community is watching what Palantir does,” says Jason Prado, a software engineer at Facebook and member of the Tech Workers Coalition, the group organizing the Palantir demonstration...

 Prado’s group has created an online campaign to collect petition signatures to press Palantir — a company co-founded by billionaire and Trump transition advisor Peter Thiel — to separate itself from any involvement with mass deportations. The group is also demanding Palantir announce steps it has or will take to ensure its systems are protected from abuse by federal authorities, and for the company to dismantle the system if disclosable safeguards can’t be put in place.

This week, both Thiel and Palantir’s CEO, Alex Karp, separately pledged that Palantir will not be used to build a Muslim registry... “We think that’s fantastic,” says Prado, “but we’re also interested in their possible involvement in what we see as mass deportation and we plan to continue pushing on that.”

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23 December 2016

USA: 2678 employees of tech companies take a stance on proposed Muslim registry, vow to protect privacy & engage in responsible whistleblowing

Author: Leigh Honeywell, Never Again Tech

We, the undersigned, are employees of tech organizations and companies based in the United States. We are engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people. 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. 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. We have educated ourselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out...Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.

We commit to the following actions:

  • We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin.
  • We will advocate within our organizations:
    • to minimize the collection and retention of data that would facilitate ethnic or religious targeting.
    • to scale back existing datasets with unnecessary racial, ethnic, and national origin data.
    • to responsibly destroy high-risk datasets and backups...
  • If we discover misuse of data that we consider illegal or unethical in our organizations:
    • We will work with our colleagues and leaders to correct it.
    • If we cannot stop these practices, we will exercise our rights and responsibilities to speak out publicly and engage in responsible whistleblowing without endangering users...
  • We will raise awareness and ask critical questions about the responsible and fair use of data and algorithms beyond our organization and our industry.

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21 December 2016

US tech firms say they will not help govt. build registry of Muslims, if asked

Author: Nick Statt, Verge (USA)

Apple, Google, and Uber join list of tech companies refusing to build Muslim registry, 16 Dec 2016

Apple, Google [part of Alphabet], and Uber have all broken their respective silences on whether they would participate in helping build a Muslim registry for the incoming Trump administration, BuzzFeed reports... [An] Apple spokesperson said, “We think people should be treated the same no matter how they worship, what they look like, who they love. We haven’t been asked and we would oppose such an effort.”

...Google...[said], “In relation to the hypothetical of whether we would ever help build a ‘muslim registry’ — we haven’t been asked, of course we wouldn’t do this and we are glad...that the proposal doesn’t seem to be on the table.” Meanwhile, Uber responded to BuzzFeed with a terse “no”... Twitter...[was the first to say] it would never participate in such a project... Facebook...[also issued] a statement saying it had not been asked, nor would it agree, to helping build a Muslim registry... Microsoft...said..., “We oppose discrimination and we wouldn’t do any work to build a registry of Muslim Americans.”

Ride-hailing company Lyft, which like Uber could hypothetically be asked to hand over user travel data, said today it would refuse to participate with the government if it were asked for such data or other tools to build a Muslim registry, according to Inc. So too did publishing company Medium... And yesterday, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg signed a fast-growing industry pledge on behalf of his company Automattic, which oversees WordPress.com... One notable exception here has been Oracle...[which] has in the past counted the National Security Agency as a client. 

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16 December 2016

USA: Tech company employees pledge to oppose Trump's proposed Muslim immigrant registry

Author: Press Trust of India

"Amazon,Microsoft workers join pledge to oppose Muslim registry", 16 Dec 2016

...Some employees of Microsoft and Amazon.com have joined their peers in Silicon Valley in pledging to never help US President-elect Donald Trump in his reported plan to register and create a database of all Muslim immigrants...The "never again" pledge, which has drawn more than 1,300 signatures as of Thursday, invokes a history of genocides carried out, at times, with the cooperation of businesses...The signatories said they would "refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin."...In addition to dozens of people who identify themselves as employees of Microsoft or Amazon, signatories include employees of Google, Apple, IBM, Oracle, and a slate of other technology firms...Silicon Valley workers who signed the pledge promised to fight back or resign from their positions if their employers force them to conduct surveillance...They also vow to ask their companies to minimise data collection and retention that could potentially be used to target minority communities...[Also refers to Facebook]

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