Tech leaders cite Armenian Genocide in rejecting Trump’s Muslim Registry

By Asbarez | Thursday, 15 December 2016

Donald Trump and Mike Pence met on Dec. 14 tech industry leaders, including, from left, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Alphabet Chief Executive Larry Page and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. (Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Donald Trump and Mike Pence met on Dec. 14 tech industry leaders, including, from left, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Alphabet Chief Executive Larry Page and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. (Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (CNBC)—Engineers and employees from major tech companies — including Google, IBM, Slack, and Stripe — have pledged never to build a database of people based on their religious beliefs.

A group of employees at major tech companies have signed a pledge refusing to help build a Muslim registry. The pledge states that signatories will advocate within their companies to minimize collection and retention of data that could enable ethnic or religious targeting under the Trump administration, to fight any unethical or illegal misuse of data, and to resign from their positions rather than comply.

The group describes themselves as “engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people.”

“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,” the pledge reads.

“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.”

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