Following a strong swing to the right in US national leadership there has been increasing concerns from tech workers that their companies will be complicit in work which could be used to oppress demonized minorities, similar to how IBM played a significant part in assisting the persecution of German Jews during the Nazi era.
CNN reports that President-elect Donald Trump has initially demanded and then denied plans for a national database of Muslims, but this has not stopped tech workers, many who hail from Asian countries, from pledging to never help build a government database targeting individuals by race, religion or national origin.
Companies have been less forthcoming in taking a position on the issue, though both Facebook and Twitter have come out to say they would not help the Trump administration build a national Muslim registry.
Now in response to a request for comment by Buzzfeed, Microsoft spokesperson Frank X. Shaw clarified his company’s position on the use of customer data.
“We’ve been clear about our values. We oppose discrimination and we wouldn’t do any work to build a registry of Muslim Americans,” said Shaw.
Microsoft initially declined to comment, pointing a blog post by Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer Brad Smith written the day after the presidential election and its principles and policies related to law enforcement and national security requests in its digital trust report.
Donald Trump has recently called a meeting of heads of tech companies discussing issues such as jobs and repatriation of off-shore cash (above.)
While it may appear that the traditional left-leaning tech industry is being somewhat over-dramatic in response to Donald Trump’s election victory, Neveragain.tech made the point that Donald Trump did stand on a platform of deporting more than 3 million migrants in USA and that “mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe” and that “genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past— among others, Tutsi Rwandans and Bosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes.”