Of nine high-tech firms asked whether they would be willing to help create a Muslim registry for the incoming Trump Administration, only Twitter said no. Most of the others did not answer at all.The other two that responded wouldn’t rule out taking advantage of the business opportunity.
Only Twitter refused to help. Its response was simply, “No” with a link to a blog post that spells out its policies on how developers may use its products and the data people share on Twitter.
It’s fine to let first responders know about people who need help in disasters. Still, Twitter prohibits developers from helping law enforcement or anyone else to use Twitter for surveillance purposes to track down protesters or activists.
Intercept reporter Sam Biddle contacted Apple, Booz Allen Hamilton, CGI, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and SRA International, in addition to Twitter.
“We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point.”
It also provided a link to a blog post that said:
“We’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but … inclusive culture.”
“It will remain important for those in government and the tech sector to continue to work together to strike a balance that protects privacy and public safety in what remains a dangerous time.”
The other companies, including IBM, did not respond.
Letter to Trump
A few days after the election, however, Ginni Rometty, President of IBM, wrote a letter to President-elect Trump in which she offered the company’s help to accomplish his administration’s agenda in several specific ways.
Although she did not mention the Muslim registry, Rometty offered to help with making buildings and other infrastructure both smart and secure, using data analytics to detect fraud in government programs, and electronic health care records.
Not that there’s anything wrong with any of these ideas, which already were part of government contracting endeavors long before Trump was elected. But it doesn’t rule anything out. Considering IBM has been complicit in previous genocides, that’s scary.
Here’s George Takei, who was among the Japanese American citizens interned as a child, on the proposed Muslim registry:
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.