Close to 1,300 workers in the tech world have so far promised not to take part in building a database of Muslims if asked to do so.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the topic of a Muslim registry came up during Wednesday’s meeting. Trump said last November that he “would certainly implement” a database system tracking Muslims in the United States.
On the campaign trail, Trump has also called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, though he dialed it back to “extreme vetting” this past summer.
As of late Thursday afternoon, more than 1,300 people have signed the pledge, many listing their professions as engineers, designers, and business executives at tech organizations and companies based in the United States.
“We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies,” the open letter reads. “We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable.”
https://t.co/obLfV7K3Di now has over 1000 signatories. One thousand, standing for human rights and ready to act on their principles.
— Ka-Ping Yee (@zestyping) December 15, 2016
An NBC News request for comment left with Ka-Ping Yee, a software engineer and former Google employee who helped create the pledge, was not immediately returned.
Tech employees stand to play a crucial role if plans are carried out to create a digital Muslim database. Referencing events like the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the Holocaust, signatories vowed not to use technology to walk down a similar path with Muslims and others.
Among the promises made by those who signed the pledge:
- Refusing to participate in creating databases for the U.S. government to target people based on race, religion, or national origin.
- Advocating within their tech organizations to minimize collection and retention of data that would aid the targeting of individuals based on ethnicity or religion.
- Speaking out publicly if they discover the illegal or unethical use of data.
We refuse to assist the US gov in mass deportation & religious targeting. Join us. Sign the pledge at https://t.co/U6PdhpQqox
— neveragain.tech (@neveragaintech) December 13, 2016