Tuesday, 20 December 2016 09:17

IBM workers protest against co-operation with Trump Featured

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Employees of IBM have launched a petition against the statement made by the company's chief executive Ginni Rometty to US president-elect Donald Trump in which she detailed various services the company could sell to the government.

According to the Intercept, IBM had also initially refused to rule out creating a registry of Muslims in the US, something that it has ruled out now.

The IBM protest is being led by cybersecurity engineer Daniel Hanley. He said he was shocked after reading Rometty's letter which was published on an internal IBM blog along with a personal note from the chief executive to the company's global staff.

The letter published by Hanley begins:

"We are disappointed that IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers' core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.

"For our mutual aid and protection, we call on IBM to expand diversity recruitment programs, and we assert our right to refuse participation in any US government contracts that violate constitutionally protected civil liberties.

"We call on IBM to demonstrate commitment to our Business Conduct Guidelines and to prevent perceived influence peddling through Trump-affiliated businesses.

"Lastly, in the present context of insecurity and unpredictability, we call on IBM to return to our traditions of high worker retention and morale by making retirement plans equitable once again."

The IBM petition comes in the wake of a public pledge made by tech workers from numerous companies to never "participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin", and to "minimise the collection and retention of data that would facilitate ethnic or religious targeting".


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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