Microsoft Facing Threats of Boycott for Collaboration with ICE

Marco Green
June 20, 2018

The post in question appeared on the Azure blog, and in it Microsoft says: "ICE's decision to accelerate IT modernization using Azure Government will help them innovate faster while reducing the burden of legacy IT". But this week, following the revelation that the agency was keeping children in metal cages, the company isn't so sure.

Microsoft certainly seems to have been caught off-guard with this development, as the company even temporarily pulled the section pertaining to ICE from its January blog post, before blaming the change on a mistake by an employee and reinstating it. On social media, critics of Microsoft have been calling on company employees to demand that their employer drop the government contract. It has now been restored.

Microsoft has said that it is "dismayed" by the USA government's policy of separating families at the United States border after it was criticised for working with the national border agency.

A view of inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility shows detainees inside fenced areas at the Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in Rio Grande City, Texas, on June 17, 2018.

"As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border".

The American technology giant boasted about a commercial deal with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in January, when it said it was "proud" to work with the agency.

Federal agencies involved with immigration have been under particularly heavy scrutiny recently as more aggressive policies have been implemented at the direction of the Trump administration, like confining kids in cages, separating kids from their families, and deporting parents before their kids have been released from confinement. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents.

Microsoft representatives did not respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.

While Microsoft didn't tackle the subject of its cloud platform being used by the ICE, it was fairly adamant that Azure isn't being used to facilitate the rather nasty and dystopian activities of the ICE.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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