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Major tech players vow to prevent Muslim registry

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Muslims and allies march from the Department of Justice to the White House to ask President Obama to rescind NSEERSn for the #NoMuslimRegistry Campaign on Monday. (Getty Images/Larry French)

Hundreds of tech employees are taking a public stand against a potential Muslim registry. The tech workers have signed a pledge, found at neveragain.tech, that stipulates that the signatories will not participate in the creation of a government registry based on national origin, race or religion and that they will advocate to scale back on existing datasets.

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump often floated the idea of a Muslim registry as an effort to curtail terrorist threats.

But the pledge — signed by employees at tech giants such as Amazon, Google, PayPal and Twitter — vows not to let such a registry happen. It states:

We are engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people. 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. 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.

The online pledge also cites IBM's role in the Holocaust, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the more recent genocides of Tutsi Rwandans and Bosnian Muslims.

"Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again." the pledge promises.

Valerie Aurora, an independent consultant who specializes in diversity and inclusion in tech, told KGO-TV that organizers are verifying the identities of signatories to ensure that people who sign the pledge really are who they claim to be.

In a statement to KGO, Spojmie Nasir, president of the San Francisco Council on American Islamic Relations, said:

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil rights organization welcomes the solidarity of the technology companies in the United States with Muslim Americans and immigrant communities. The technology communities' stance against anti-Muslim and xenophobic hatred, including hate crimes and hate speech against American Muslims and immigrants, as well as religious profiling and prejudice, is vital to protecting rights under the United State Constitution.

The lives of American Muslims, immigrants and their families are threatened by the incoming administration's proposed ban on Muslims in the United States, Muslim registry as well as the massive deportation of immigrants in our communities. United as one, we American Muslims welcome the solidarity and support of the technology companies.

Zara Stone, a contributor at Forbes, noted that the timeliness of the pledge is important as it appeared just before major tech players arrived in New York to meet with Trump.

Trump's mini "tech summit" on Wednesday includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates already met with Trump Tuesday.

Reuter's Dustin Volz noted Wednesday that almost 600 employees had added their names to the Never Again pledge.

At press time, the pledge's Twitter feed said there are 623 signatories.

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