Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Microsoft employees demand company cut ties with ICE

Microsoft employees demand company cut ties with ICE

In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or US Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this goal.

The public outcry over the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the USA border is spilling over to Microsoft, which has a contract with federal immigration authorities.

"We also call on Microsoft to draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients who violate global human rights law", the letter reads.

A petition signed by more than 150 employees started circulating Tuesday, asking Microsoft to cancel its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Though Microsoft's post was from January, Microsoft only today was put under heavy fire.

"As the people who build the technologies that Microsoft profits from, we refuse to be complicit", the employees said in the letter, obtained by The Seattle Times.

Although Microsoft said it was "dismayed" by the forcible separations, the company has yet to provide details about its contract with United States immigration authorities, like how the facial-recognition tech is exactly being used. "We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families".

Fatal Dreamworld ride lacked safety features
It was also revealed the ride had no device to monitor water levels and provide a warning or shut down if levels became too low. A coroner's inquest into the tragedy gets underway today. "It will be hard for them throughout the inquiry", he said.

Microsoft has come under a great degree of scrutiny in recent days regarding its work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was first announced in January.

Microsoft didn't immediately comment about whether it's still proud to supply ICE with its services.

Gizmodo reported that some Microsoft employees have thought about quitting, while others outside the company are questioning future work with Microsoft.

We'll have more on the mounting outrage over the practice of forcibly separating thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the border after headlines.

Microsoft President Brad Smith posted a wide-ranging blog about US immigration late Tuesday night, addressing attempts by Congress to halt the separation of children from their families.

Amid the backlash against Microsoft on social media, one website developer, Mat Marquis, wrote on Twitter that he was ending his business with the company over its ICE contract.

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