Hundreds of Tech Workers Defiantly Pledge Not to Collaborate with Trump’s Mass Deportations

December 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 13, a group of people who work in tech organizations and companies based in the U.S. issued a strong statement pledging “solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies.” They said they refuse to build databases of people based on their race, religious beliefs, or national origin that could facilitate mass deportations.

Their statement contrasted starkly with the action of top execs from major tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Tesla, and Alphabet (Google) who a day earlier met with Trump. That meeting, like others Trump has been holding with a series of well-known figures like Al Gore, served to help legitimize and normalize fascism.

The statement by people in technology says:

“We have educated ourselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out. We see how IBM collaborated to digitize and streamline the Holocaust, contributing to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others. We recall the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. We recognize that mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe: the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey. We acknowledge that genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past—among others, Tutsi Rwandans and Bosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes.

“Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.”

They also committed to concrete actions—for example, to “exercise our rights and responsibilities to speak out publicly and engage in responsible whistleblowing” if they “discover misuse of data that we consider illegal or unethical in our organizations.”

The list of people signing on to this pledge is growing rapidly. As of the evening of December 15 the statement has over 1,300 signers. The complete statement and other resources are available here.


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