In advance of a "tech summit" between Silicon Valley leaders and President-elect Donald Trump at New York's Trump Tower on Wednesday, over 200 tech employees have signed an open letter vowing to fight Trump's campaign promises to build a "Muslim registry" and deport millions of people.
"Now is the time for tech giants to stand up against Trump's hate."
—Heidi Hess, CREDO Action
"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," the letter reads.
"We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs," it continues. "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," the letter adds. "Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again."
Wednesday's meeting, which includes Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and Larry Page of Alphabet (which owns Google), has indeed provoked widespread condemnation.
"Today the heads of America's biggest tech companies will sit down with Donald Trump—a racist, xenophobic fascist who has pledged to create a registry to surveil, threaten, and harass Muslims," said Heidi Hess, CREDO Action senior campaign manager. "If asked, will these companies collaborate with Trump or will they stand up for the people most threatened by him? Now is the time for tech giants to stand up against Trump's hate and pledge not to help him build a Muslim registry."
CREDO sent letters to major tech firms asking them to publicly stand up to Trump's right-wing agenda after The Intercept reported that out of nine companies, only Twitter refused to assist Trump with building a national registry of all Muslims.
It is unclear whether the letters will make a difference, at least to Wednesday's meeting: CNBC reports that the official agenda for the summit only includes discussion of two items—"job creation" and "efficiency."