Immigration and Customs Enforcement is renewing a contract with GitHub, in a deal said to be worth less than $200,000 to the Microsoft-owned company.
CEO Nat Friedman wrote that while GitHub and Microsoft both disagree with the current administration’s immigration policies, the company can’t be responsible for what customers like ICE do with its software.
“Just as Microsoft for more than three decades has licensed Microsoft Word without demanding to know what customers use it to write, we believe it would be wrong for GitHub to demand that software developers tell us what they are using our tools to do,” Friedman wrote.
In response, over 150 GitHub employees, including a vice president, signed a letter asking the company to cancel its contract with ICE, the Washington Post’s Nitasha Tiku reported.
“Continuing to hold this contract does not improve our bargaining power with ICE. All it does is make us complicit in their widespread human rights abuses,” said the open letter.
Friedman says GitHub plans to continue participating in immigration advocacy efforts, and that it will donate $500,000 to immigration nonprofits.
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GitHub, the Microsoft-owned code-sharing service that forms the backbone of the open source software world, is under scrutiny for a customer deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the agency charged with enforcing the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies.
In an email to employees on Tuesday, CEO Nat Friedman said that the deal was worth less than $200,000 to the company. That email was originally leaked to an advocacy group called Fight for the Future, but is now posted publicly on GitHub’s blog.
Friedman said that the contract was actually handled through one of GitHub’s reseller partners, and was originally signed in April 2016, though in August the …read more
Source:: Business Insider