Facebook, Apple and Microsoft among the tech companies continuing to criticize Trump – CNET
Facebook, Apple and Microsoft among the tech companies continuing to criticize Trump
Silicon Valley CEOs move past cybersecurity and taxes to comment on social issues like gay rights and immigration.
“Heartless, cruel, immoral.”
That’s how Airbnb chose to describe a move from President Donald Trump’s administration to separate families seeking asylum by crossing the southern US border.
Airbnb wasn’t the only company criticizing Trump. Microsoft as well spoke out after it was criticized for working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” Microsoft said. “We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.”
The tech industry is one of America’s great achievements. World leaders — from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chinese President Xi Jinping — routinely stop for visits with the leaders of Google, Apple, Facebook and Intel when they travel to the US. As president, Barack Obama to and even .
Like any large industry, it has pushed pet political issues such as cybersecurity and tax policy. Its CEOs, though, are now looking beyond those concerns, speaking out on topics from immigration policy to the rights of women, minorities and the LGBT communities. They’re doing so even as the tech sectorfor being predominantly white and male.
Whether Washington likes it or not, Silicon Valley is emerging as a political power center.
Trump tried tobefore he was sworn in. The relationship has proved rocky, and tech executives routinely speak out against his policies.
Here’s where the president and the tech industry have found themselves at odds.
The first travel ban
Trump issued a travel ban as an executive order just two weeks into his presidency. Citing the threat of terrorist attacks, he sought to establish “new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States.” The move angered his political opponents, and protests occurred almost immediately at major airports. The ban was stalled by several US courts.
The incident also galvanized the tech industry to speak out. Executives, including leaders at Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel and Expedia,.
The second travel ban
Silicon Valleywhen Trump issued a second travel ban. Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff tweeted an image of his grandfather, who came to the US as a refugee. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said barring people from the country because of where they’re from was “still wrong.”
The white supremacist and Nazi rally in Charlottesville
Trump’s response to a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, proved to be a breaking point for many executives. August’s “Unite the Right” rally was ostensibly organized as an expression of support for a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. But it drew white supremacists and neo-Nazis who shouted anti-Semitic slogans and clashed with counter-protesters. One neo-Nazi allegedly drove his car into a crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman.
Speaking afterward, Trump blamed both sides for the violence and said there were “very fine people” among those white supremacists and neo-Nazis, sparking widespread criticism. Executives from his manufacturing and infrastructure councils resigned or condemned the president, and within days both groups had been dissolved. The incident eventually led some internet companies, including GoDaddy and Google, to to The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site that promoted the rally.
The transgender military service ban
The tech industry spoke out again in July when Trump announced via Twitter a ban on transgender people serving in the military. Among them were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said, “Everyone should be able to serve their country — no matter who they are.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is gay, said, “We are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back.”
The end to DACA
In early September, rumors began circulating that Trump was planning to end DACA, short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, ahead of a legal challenge to the policy. The program had become a rallying point for Silicon Valley executives, who came together in several lobbying organizations to encourage immigration reform. Many tech companies, including Microsoft, are now committed to.
The rollback of net neutrality
On Dec. 14,that established regulatory requirements for how internet service providers handled internet traffic. The rules, known as net neutrality, required that service providers treat all internet traffic equally. The Trump administration, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, argued that the rules and that the internet needs “light touch” regulation. In addition, Pai argued the real threat to the internet was . Many tech industry leaders responded, saying and plan to fight back.
Separating families at the border
Tech companies once again condemned the Trump administration on June 18, after a weekend of news coverage focused on its actions separating families of asylum seekers entering the US southern border. Microsoft said it was “dismayed” by the administration’s actions and . Airbnb, meanwhile, called the Trump administration’s moves “heartless, cruel, immoral.”
First published Sept. 6 at 5 a.m. PT.
Update, Dec. 14 at 11:49 a.m. PT: Adds details about the FCC’s net neutrality vote.
Update, June 18 at 4:29 p.m. PT: Adds details about tech response to Trump administration moves separating families at the border.
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US Tech Policy
June 18, 2018