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Friday, December 16, 2016

THE CLASSROOM. STOP TRUMP: Muslim registry and tech companies. Robert Cruickshank, Democracy for America to you

David --

One of the most horrifying proposals Donald Trump offered during the campaign was a plan to create a registry of Muslims in the United States.

This registry brings to mind some of the worst aspects of American history, and is rooted in bigotry and hate. Trump's plan wouldn't be the first attempt -- a previous version used during the Bush Administration didn't lead to any convictions on terrorism charges, but it did lead to tens of thousands of cases of harassment, arrest, and deportations.

Trump's transition team has signaled they plan to go ahead with this awful plan anyway. We need to stop him -- and that includes making it hard for Trump to actually assemble a registry.

That's where the tech companies of Silicon Valley and beyond come into play. They have amassed huge amounts of data on people living in the United States. If they cooperate with Trump in building a registry of Muslims, those tech companies could do immense damage.

Initially, only Twitter told a reporter from The Intercept that they would refuse to help build such a registry, but other leading tech companies refused to respond. So Democracy for America joined CREDO and human rights groups and sent a letter demanding other tech companies follow Twitter's lead.As a result of that pressure, Facebook and Microsoft announced this week they too would refuse to help Trump build a registry of Muslims.

But other tech companies -- including Google and Apple -- still won't answer. And their CEOs met with Donald Trump just this week. 

Government targeting of individuals based on religion and ethnicity violates the Constitution and our core values as a country. It also threatens millions of people. But some of the largest tech companies still haven't responded to our letter, including Google, Apple, IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, SRA International, and CGI.

Each of these companies has massive technological capability and/or data that would be essential to Trump's plans to register Muslims in the United States. Without their help, Trump will have a much more difficult time carrying out his horrible plan.

Even though the CEOs of these corporations haven't responded yet, the engineers who work there are already mobilizing to stop Trump's registry plans. Employees from the leading tech companies in Silicon Valley are signing a pledge that they will never help create a registry of Muslims.

Those engineers are taking a bold stand --  while their bosses are busy meeting with Donald Trump in Trump Tower. We need to fight back and stop Trump from targeting Muslims in America. Will you help?

Thank you for standing up against Trump and his bigoted plans.

- Robert

Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager
Democracy for America