The US President Donald Trump’s decision to separate family members crossing US borders illegally has resulted in the “arrest” of thousands of children in numerous holding camps across the country. The leaks of the images of children have sparked a widespread outrage, and different companies are issuing their statements and condemning the action.
This wildfire has apparently affected Microsoft as well due to its contract with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. As a result of the dissatisfaction among the developers on GitHub, more than five dozen contributors have signed a letter, threatening to abandon the platform if Microsoft chooses to continue the partnership.
Microsoft was already facing heat from open source enthusiasts and developers after it formally announced the acquisition of GitHub; there were even reports of developers flocking to GitHub alternatives like GitLab.
Coming back to the ICE issue, the letter simply states:
“Tell Microsoft to drop ICE as a client or lose us as GitHub users”
As per the letter, Microsoft’s partnership with ICE involves delivering cloud-powered identity, and using deep learning for facial recognition and identification.
“We are horrified by and strongly object to the Trump administration’s policies of detainment, denaturalization, deportation, and family separation as carried out by ICE,” the letter states.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has, on the other hand, downplayed the company’s contribution to ICE and stated that they only deal with email, messaging, and calendar. However, his statement contradicts an old blog post from the company that boasted of providing deep learning tech for facial recognition.