Calls for a boycott against technology giant Microsoft are growing in response to the company’s support of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The company has a contract with ICE for its Azure Government cloud software, which Microsoft sells to a variety of government agencies.
Its contract with ICE, however, ultimately assists the government agency in enforcing its inhumane policy of family separation.
This week, one of the company’s blog posts from January resurfaced, drawing sharp criticism and strengthening calls for a boycott.
“ICE’s decision to accelerate IT modernization using Azure Government will help them innovate faster while reducing the burden of legacy IT. The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.”
It appeared as though this particular section of the post had been removed by around 1 p.m. ET on Monday, but it reappeared some 20 minutes later.
The company told reporters that the removal of the section was a “mistake” and said an employee had been prompted to edit the post after reading discussions about it on social media.
Microsoft also issued its own statement in response to the controversy.
“Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” the statement said. “Family unification has been a fundamental tenant of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.”
If Twitter is even remotely representative, the boycott has already begun.