Headline February 24, 2017/ ''' *MUSLIM* DATABASE MURMURS* ''


*AMONG THOSE COMPANIES ARE  :   IBM,   Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Qualcomm, Cisco, Dell and Oracle*...........

As soon as President Trump signed an  executive order  on immigration, some of the biggest tech companies in the world, went entirely quiet.

Their executives did not sign legal briefs, brandish statements, or dissent on Twitter. They just strove for business as usual, says David Streitfeld.

This was the  older, stodgier, less glamorous  part of the tech universe. These executives are generally not household names. Most of the companies have little presence in the excitable consumer marketplace.

Some are government contractors. Their workers tend to be more settled, less tempted by cool start-ups. Despite the companies sizeable-employment, the spotlight is not on them.

Among the companies are IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Qualcomm, Cisco, Dell and Oracle.

When 127 companies signed an  amicus brief  two weeks ago in a Seattle court that said the executive order  ''violates the immigration laws and the Constitution,''  none of these six were on the list.

Yet even at some of these companies, there are strings of defiance. In a few well-publicized cases, workers have nosily quit. 
Many more have chosen to remain but are agitating for an explicit corporate morality, even as President Trump  considers a new executive order on immigration.

They want their companies to make clear, not only what they support but also, perhaps even more important, what lines they will not cross.

The activist push is being driven in significant measure by women, who who are still fighting their due in male-dominated industry.

At IBM, a petition has been circulated that proclaims:

'We have a moral and business imperative to uphold the pillars of a free society by declining any projects which undermine liberty.'

The organizers said nearly 1,000  verified employees had signed it.

This is a delicate subject for big tech companies, none more than Big Blue. President Trump during the campaign explored the idea of a  Muslim Database, although his remarks were inconclusive.

IBM's punch card technology, as detailed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, was used by the Nazis in 1939 to do a census. That data, in turn led directly to  Adolf Eichmann's Jewish Registry.

At Oracle, the Silicon Valley Database giant whose first customer was the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA],  three young women  -none of whom has worked there for more than a handful of months  -started  a  petition two weeks ago to join the amicus brief.

Hundreds of  Oracle   employees have signed it.

''In some instances it is notable for a company to take a stand on an issue,'' said one of the women, Irene Scher, a  regional vice president of sales. ''In this case, it's notable not to have taken a stand.''

A co-chief executive of  Oracle, Safra Catz,  and the chief executive of IBM, Virginia Rometty, became advisers to Mr. Trump during the transition. 
''I know that you are committed to help America's economy grow in ways that are good for all its people,'' Mr. Rometty wrote to him in November.

Ms Catz said in December, ''We are with him and will help in any way we can.''

The  three friends who created the Oracle petition joined the company in August, when it acquired company they worked for, Opower. They emphasize they are not at odds with their employer.

''This isn't a criticism of Oracle ,'' said one of them, Rachel Kane, a sales executive at Oracle Utilities. ''We are giving them visibility into how individuals at the company feel.''

Oracle declined to comment.

At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, employees have been asking why it did not sign the amicus brief.

Meg Whitman, the chief executive, has responded that  ''simply, we were not contacted to participate.''  She indicated that the company would be taking a more assertive role:
''You can expect to see us add our voice.''

Dell and Cisco declined to comment. Qualcomm did not respond to request for comment.

The internal debate at some of the big tech companies revolves around the question of engagement: Can you persuade more from the inside than the outside?

The pro-engagement position has been expressed by Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, and a number of the  President's Strategic and Policy Forum.

In a handful of cases, customers have said that they are cancelling their orders for new Teslas because they view him as working for the President.

''Activists should be pushing for more moderates to advise President, not fewer,'' Mr. Musk responded on Twitter.
''How could having only extremists advise him possible be good?''

Mr. Musk said that he had made sure that the travel ban was discussed ''first and foremost'' at a Feb 3 White House meeting. A spokeswoman said no further details were available.

IBM released a statement that said Ms. Rometty had   ''conveyed the company's views directly to the president and the secretary of ''Homeland Security'' on Feb 3, ''including suggestions for how technology can help to promote both national security and lawful immigration.''

Ed Barbini, vice president of corporate communications at IBM, said no further details were available. he noted that the company said in December that it would never participate in the building of a Muslim Registry. 

He declined to comment on the petition.

When a small group of IBM employees was drawing up the petition in November, it decided to focus on a positive example-

The company president  Thomas J Watson Jr.'s Policy Letter No. 4, which resisted pro-segregation policies in the South in the 1950s.

''Watson sacrificed  short-term  business interests in order to be on the right side of history, something IBM takes pride in today,'' the petition says.

Daniel Hanley, one of the organizers, said the goal was  ''to build an organization inside the company that can hold IBM accountable to our values, and serve as a model for tech workers at other companies.''

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and  Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Rumblings '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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