Microsoft is facing online outrage and calls for a boycott over its ICE contract | Tech News
- Stephen Lam/Stringer
- Microsoft is being criticized for their contract with ICE for cloud computing software.
- In a blog post from January, Microsoft said they were “proud to support” ICE with their software.
- ICE has been heavily criticized for their detention centers for families and children, as well as for separating families at the border.
Microsoft has come under fire after a blog post from January resurfaced , detailing how the company is “proud to support” Immigration and Customs Enforcement with a contract for their Azure Government Cloud software.
Azure Government is a cloud computing software that Microsoft sells to various government agencies, but the contract with ICE has received criticism in light of ICE’s detention centers and family separation policies. ICE has been at the forefront of news cycles lately, largely because of their detention centers (some of which house thousands of children separated from their parents) and their tendency to separate families at the border.
Microsoft @azure is “proud to support” the work of ICE. This quote is from a page that was created this year. To all the people lecturing me recently on having negative feelings about MS buying Github: y’all are ok with this? I’m not ok with this. pic.twitter.com/vm26BmWF81
— taotetek (@taotetek) June 17, 2018
Friends who work for @Microsoft,
FIGHT THIS. Make the biggest noise imaginable about it.
Don’t fall for the “all companies take government contracts” spin. Your company has THIS contract and is *proud* of it.
Resources are available to help you fight. I believe in you.???? https://t.co/P19aEWR45n
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) June 18, 2018
Around 1 p.m. ET Monday, the section about ICE on the blog post appeared to be removed, only to reappear about 20 minutes later.
Looks like Microsoft removed the part about being proud to support ICE (below) from its Azure blog post https://t.co/5uWXdVJ2ch Here’s the archived version https://t.co/GlNcA8vIxS pic.twitter.com/DVfF3K4OEz
— Nitasha Tiku (@nitashatiku) June 18, 2018
Microsoft told Wired reporter Nitasha Tiku that the removal of the portion referencing ICE was a “mistake,” and attributed it to an employee editing the blog after seeing discussions about it on social media. The section on ICE has since been added back in.
Amid the backlash against Microsoft on social media, one website developer, Mat Marquis, wrote on Twitter that he was ending his business with the company over its ICE contract.
I’ve terminated my contract with @Microsoft.https://t.co/GkvLBXxFjs
They have an outstanding invoice which, upon receipt, I will be donating to https://t.co/TIlNWOGSQS
— Mat Marquis (@wilto) June 18, 2018