GitHub and US Government Developers
At GitHub, we believe in empowering developers around the world. We also believe in basic human rights and treating people with respect and dignity. Today, I wanted to share a message I sent to all employees yesterday that is related to this, as it is important that we share our views on immigration policy with the world and not just internally with employees. Hubbers, In August, the GitHub leadership team learned about a pending renewal of our product by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Since then, we have been talking with people throughout the company, based on our own personal concerns and those raised by Hubbers. This topic is important to me and the rest of the GitHub leadership team. I wanted to connect with you directly and share details on what we know about this purchase, and the principles by which we make decisions in these areas. In April 2016, the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency began the process to purchase a license of GitHub Enterprise Server. Both the original purchase, as well as the recent renewal, were made through one of our reseller partners. The revenue from the purchase is less than $200,000 and not financially material for our company. The license that was purchased is for GitHub Enterprise Server, which is our on-premises product. GitHub does not have a professional services agreement with ICE, and GitHub is not consulting with ICE on any of their projects or initiatives. GitHub has no visibility into how this software is being used, other than presumably for software development and version control. Like many Hubbers, I strongly disagree with many of the current administration’s immigration policies, including the practice of separating families at the border, the Muslim travel ban, and the efforts to dismantle the DACA program that protects people brought to the U.S. as children without documentation. The leadership team shares these views. These policies run counter to our values as a company, and to our ethics as people. We have spoken out as a company against these practices, and joined with other companies in protesting them. You can read our public statements in the Keep the Families Together Act letter, the Muslim travel ban amicus briefs, and the DACA business leaders letter of support. We also joined an amicus brief last year to protect Sanctuary Cities. Our parent company, Microsoft, has also publicly opposed these same policies. Microsoft is the sole business that is a direct plaintiff in the litigation that will be heard by the United States Supreme Court next month challenging the rescission of the DACA program. Microsoft has a long history of advocating for migrants and immigration law reform. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has spoken passionately about his own experience as an immigrant to the United States, and how Microsoft has consistently stood up for immigration policies that preserve every person’s dignity and human rights, and advocated for change. We should be proud of all these steps GitHub and Microsoft have taken. ICE is a large government agency with more than 20,000 employees that is responsible for many things. While ICE does manage immigration law enforcement, including the policies that both GitHub and Microsoft are on record strongly opposing, they are also on the front lines of fighting human trafficking, child exploitation, terrorism and transnational crime, gang violence, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and cybercrime. In approaching the topic of government purchases, we use the same overarching policy framework as Microsoft: First, we recognize that ICE is responsible for both enforcing the US immigration policies with which we passionately disagree, as well…
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