SILICON VALLEY — After Donald Trump made promises over the past year and a half to build a database to “track” Muslims in America, Silicon Valley engineers are fighting back and refusing to participate in creating such a system.
Drawing comparisons to the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, over 320 tech employees and counting have taken the pledge on a website called neveragain.tech. not to construct that Muslim registry and to resist any effort to create a system that tracks people on the basis of “race, religion or national origin.”
“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. 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”. The pledge reads.
Trump clashed with Silicon Valley on several issues during the campaign, including immigration, government surveillance and encryption, and his victory last month alarmed many companies who feared he might follow through on his pledges.