Tech employees vow not to help Trump build a data registry to track Muslims
The employees of several high-tech corporations, including Google, Facebook and Apple, signed an open letter on Tuesday, rebuking ideas floated by Trump during his presidential campaign.
The employees signed the open letter at neveragain.tech. They compared Trump’s proposal to track Muslims to the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
The online protest comes a day before several chief executives in the high-technology sector in Silicon Valley are due to meet with the president-elect in New York City.
“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 the letter, signed by a mix of engineers, designers and business executives.
It continues: “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.”
The letter pledges to not participate in creating databases for the US government that would register people on the basis of race, national origin or religion to lessen the collection of data that could facilitate such targeting and to oppose any misuse of data at their respective organizations considered illegal or unethical.
Trump clashed with Silicon Valley on several issues during the 2016 presidential campaign, including immigration, government surveillance and encryption, and his election last month concerned many companies who feared he might follow through on his proposals.
Trump made a threat to ban all Muslims from immigrating to the US and deporting millions of undocumented Hispanic migrants a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.
Thousands of Muslims and activists in the US marched near the White House on Monday in a final effort to convince outgoing President Barack Obama to permanently dismantle an existing Muslim registry program known as NSEERS before Trump enters office.
NSEERS was indefinitely suspended in 2011, but Trump mulled the possibility of reinstating the program during his presidential campaign in order to monitor the activities of Muslim immigrants.