Silicon Valley Workers Pressure Execs to Stop Doing Business with President Donald Trump

Silicon Valley tech workers have been pressuring their company execs to sever ties with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other agencies that have become part of President Donald Trump’s ramped-up deportation machine.

An NPR report that aired this past weekend noted that employees from Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have told been telling their bosses to turn away business out of growing concern that the technologies they create could be used in harmful ways.

Last week, a handful of protesters gathered outside the Salesforce tower in San Francisco to support some 650 employees who signed their names to a petition demanding that CEO Marc Benioff end a contract with an ICE subsidiary, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, over Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

To date, Salesforce plans to keep its contract to manage personnel software for the border agency. Benioff took to Twitter to say that the company does not enable border patrol to separate families and he personally opposes the policy, which the president officially ended last month amid nationwide protests.

The Salesforce demonstration follows a similar protest at Google, where backlash from employees persuaded the advertising giant to drop a contract with the Pentagon that would have used artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of drone strikes.

Meanwhile, Amazon employees have been calling for the online retailer to end a deal to provide facial recognition technology to law enforcement. And programmers at Microsoft have been calling it quits to avoid building software for ICE.

The recent activism from tech employees—who have historically shied away from taking public political stands—stems from the protest ethos characteristic of the Trump era. Shortly after the he took office, Silicon Valley took to the streets to march for women and science and against discriminatory travel bans and draconian immigration crackdowns.

But only recently has the movement channeled its activism to hold CEOs to account for their complicity in advancing some controversial Trump administration policies.

14 Comments

  1. Interesting that a lobbyist for Related, Jude Barry, has a Facebook Bot company who did business with same Facebook guys who worked with Trump and advised one elected official who supports ICE

  2. > employees from Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon and Google

    Salesforce.com is a trainwreck. Employees have to tiptoe their way through 30,000 feces landmines to get to work in the massively ostentatious office tower. And, by the way, how did Salesforce.com get the permits to build an office tower three times the existing height limits and on top of the San Andreas fault at the same location as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake?

    And what do Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have in common? They are ALL mammoth monopolies who provide MILLIONS of dollars of monopoly protection campaign money to progressive politicians who HATE capitalism but LOVE monopolies.

    Economics 101: MONOPOLIES EARN EXCESS PROFITS BY EXPLOITING CONSUMERS.

    It’s time for our plucky and heroic president to get out his trust-busting club in the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt and start taking down Jeff Bezos’ and Eric Schmidt’s bloated and bullying business cartels.

    Oh, and keep Eric Schmidt’s search engine censorship monopoly out of San Jose.

  3. No country or business should work with Trump. I could not believe what I watched on TV with his meeting with Russia. He cannot be trusted, lies and cannot remember what he says and honors no agreements with anyone. I suspect his private meetings with Putin are to give him intelligence information on our country. I am still in shock.

    • > I am still in shock.

      Aurelia:

      Don’t blame Trump for this one. As I recall, you’ve been in shock for a long time.

      I suggest that you dial back on the energy drinks, and listen to some soothing music.

      Try a little yoga, or meditation, or something.

      You’ll be just fine.

    • Agreed! Everyone getting a welfare check, using ACA, using ebt, texting on an Obamaphone, cashing their social security check, really anything from Trump’s government, should just shut it down now!

      Until… I don’t know.

      #resist #boycottUSA #hearingsForTheTranslator #notMyCountry

  4. If a company boasts of a Facebook Analytica operation as selling voter technology that has been hacked, is that Good? Isn’t that how Russians got into the system

  5. Companies are made up of many people, workers, share holders, etc. Not everyone is a criminal, however, when companies like Wells Fargo, Facebook, etc break the law no one ever goes to jail. Money is just paid and it is business as usual. Perhaps people on top should start going to jail or have their companies suspended until they can get their act together. On another note, please read “The President is Missing” by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Just watching the news and it shows Trump holding a meeting in the White House talking about the Russian meeting and the lights go out. In the book the same thing happens because that is a signal to the President they are in control.

  6. To supporters of Trump, stick to the article and don’t rant about other subjects that make no sense. If your values align with Trump then just say you support his policies.

  7. > If your values align with Trump then just say you support his policies.

    Aurelia:

    Thanks. Very broad minded and tolerant of you.

    By the way, does Jennifer know that you have taken over as moderator? Will you be updating the posting guidelines?

  8. No child would be separated from his/her parent at the border if the parent didn’t cross the border illegally. We have enough foreign welfare recipients here already, enough foreign criminals. If you are here illegally, you should be booted out promptly. Make it an administrative action, for which the gazillion “rights” accorded to criminal defendants would not be required.

  9. All the Democrat snowflakes have their panties in a bunch about some Facebook ads during the last presidential election. Google “CIA assassinations” and you’ll see that the US has done a lot worse than running ads aimed at Facebook addicts.

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