Microsoft’s GitHub to renew services contract with ICE, leaked email says

Dave W. Shanahan

Microsoft, GitHub

According to a leaked email, GitHub will renew a $200,000 contract with the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As noted by The Verge, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman sent an email to its employees detailing the reasons why the company is renewing the contract with ICE, even though Friedman and the GitHub leadership team, “strongly disagree with many of the current administration’s immigration policies, including the practice of separating families at the border, the Muslim travel ban, and the efforts to dismantle the DACA program.”

In addition, Friedman outlines that ICE is a “large government agency with more than 20,000 employees responsible for many things, including fighting human trafficking, child exploitation, terrorism and transnational crime, gang violence, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and cybercrime.”

GitHub is not working with ICE as a consultant or helping develop any specific software. Furthermore, GitHub does not know what ICE is using the license for specifically and has no way of accessing or monitoring ICE’s use of the server.

“We do have license terms for GitHub Enterprise Server, and also terms of service and acceptable use
policies for, and we require customers’ use of GitHub to comply with those terms and with
applicable laws. If and when we do discover violations of our terms or of laws, we take action to enforce those
terms, and do so in a principled, consistent way. That applies to ICE and any other GitHub users or customers.”

You can read the full content of the leaked email here. Many employees from several giant tech companies, including Microsoft and Google, have protested against their employers’ policies for working with the U.S. government amidst the Trump administration’s harsh stance on immigration.