Microsoft, IBM: We won’t help build a Muslim registry – The Hill
“We’ve been clear about our values. We oppose discrimination and we wouldn’t do any work to build a registry of Muslim Americans,” spokesman Frank X. Shaw told BuzzFeed on Thursday in response to their questions.
IBM also expressly rejected a registry, with a spokesperson telling The Hill on Saturday, “IBM would not work on this hypothetical project.”
“Our company has long-standing values and a strong track record of opposing discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. That perspective has not changed, and never will,” the spokesperson said.
The companies’ statements come days after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty joined other tech leaders, including Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla’s Elon Musk, for a summit with Trump.
Microsoft had reportedly declined to comment on a Muslim registry to BuzzFeed before and IBM declined the Intecerpt’s previous request for comment.
During his campaign, Trump discussed a proposed registry of Muslims in the U.S. But at other times, he’s also appeared to back away from the idea.
Those confusing signals continued after the election, with reports claiming a Trump adviser was working on drafting a proposal for a registry. The transition team denied any such work.
Microsoft’s statement also comes as a growing number of tech industry workers and companies vow not to help create any such registry.
According to BuzzFeed, Facebook initially declined to comment on the registry before declaring it would not help build it.
“No one has asked us to build a Muslim registry, and of course we would not do so,” the company told BuzzFeed.
Prior to the Wednesday meeting, 60 engineers at major tech companies promised 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 number of tech workers who have taken that pledge is now over 1,200. They include many workers from companies that attended Trump’s meeting, including IBM and Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Updated Dec. 17 at 6:34 p.m.