GitHub will renew a contract with ICE according to a leaked email
GitHub will renew a $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) according to an email that was leaked to Fight for the Future (via The Verge). In the email, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman discussed the Trump administration's policies and how he, GitHub, and Microsoft have issues with certain policies. He also adds, however, that GitHub wants "software developers around the world to have the freedom to operate with a level of privacy." ICE's policies towards migrant children and immigration are controversial and have been criticized by many, including several GitHub and Microsoft employees, including Friedman himself.
The contract for GitHub enterprise server was purchased in 2016 and was up for renewal according to the email.
In the email, Friedman goes into several details and factors that affect the decision for GitHub to renew the contract with ICE. Friedman points out that while ICE has many controversial policies, it also combats several serious issues, including human trafficking and terrorism,
Friedman also states that a level of privacy is important for developers,
Friedman compares the decision to Microsoft licensing Microsoft Word to people without demanding to know what people use Word to write.
Friedman states that the $200,000 contract is "not financially material." He adds in the email that GitHub will donate $500,000 to "nonprofit organizations working to support immigrant communities targeted by the current administration."
The GitHub CEO also invited recipients of the email to a Q&A that will be held tomorrow at 10 am Pacific time.