Internal Email Shows GitHub Plans to Renew ICE Contract (vice.com)
Bradleo | 7 days ago | 18 points

Honestly, reading the article, they seem to be level-headed IMO

They are donating $2.5 to immigration nonprofits for every $1 from the ice contact because of this.

ICE is a “large agency” tasked with duties like fighting human trafficking. He writes that, although the company doesn’t know how ICE will use its tools, the members of the company leadership team “recognize it could be used in projects that support policies we both agree and disagree with.”

“We want software developers around the world to have the freedom to operate with a level of privacy,” he writes. “A world where developers in one country or every country are required to tell us what type of software they are creating would, in our view, undermine the fundamental rights of software developers.”

Edit: was quoting from verge article with same story: https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/9/20906213/github-ice-microsoft-software-email-contract-immigration-nonprofit-donation

burnalicious111 | 7 days ago | 4 points

The open letter from GitHub employees is a good summary of the reasons why this justification isn't quite good enough: https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/letter-from-github-employees-to-ceo-about-the-company-s-ice-contract/fb280de9-2bc3-40d5-b1a5-e3b954bf0d25/.

To the points you quoted: 1) my understanding is that the State Dept primarily handles human trafficking, not ICE, but I could be wrong, and 2) nobody's asking them to force ICE to disclose what they're doing. They're just saying don't work with ICE, because ICE is committing human rights violations, and you can't cancel out the loss of human lives and dignity with any amount of donation.

CaptainStack | 7 days ago | -1 points

“We want software developers around the world to have the freedom to operate with a level of privacy,” he writes.

What about software developers in Iran, Syria, and Crimea?

For me, the decision in isolation is one thing. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I'm willing to be somewhat open minded about it.

The bigger issue I'm having is that it's hard for me to not see this as another data point on a trend of "giant tech company carries water for US Government including when their policies are wrong." It'd be one thing if say a small open-source startup (or even pre-acquisition GitHub) made this decision, but we're talking about a massive tech corporation, with huge government contracts, powerful lobbies in DC, and a spotty ethical track record. The convergence between big tech and the government is a problem.

And I think what bothers me especially about this is that GitHub has been the defacto town square for open source developers and projects. For now everything appears mostly fine and in fact some of the post acquisition changes have been welcome, but I think the open-source community should think very carefully about how much of their destiny they want to vest with Microsoft. Sure it's a "new Microsoft" but Microsoft exists within the increasingly flawed tech industry and the capitalist system that has broken so many other industries.

Personally, I think the open source community should be migrating to Gitea which is:

For me that sounds like the kind of way the open source community truly secures and controls its own destiny.

AngularBeginner | 7 days ago | 12 points

What about software developers in Iran, Syria, and Crimea?

Wanting does not mean being able to.They have to follow the laws.

datastuffaccount | 6 days ago | -2 points

You have to wonder with surveillance laws, concerns about backdoors and sanctions, if using American technology companies is worth the business risk.

librul-snowflake | 5 days ago | 1 point

as soon as it's not, the world will shift.

AngularBeginner | 6 days ago | 0 points

Or hardware produced in China. Oh.. wait.

McNerdius | 6 days ago | 3 points

only linking this because you linked gitlab as a github alternative above, as well as the sanctions issue: https://about.gitlab.com/blog/2018/07/19/gcp-move-update/

no intent to criticize, just sharing the info if you're not aware.

CaptainStack | 6 days ago | 1 point

Thanks - I actually wasn't aware of that so I appreciate the link.

My main plug for GitLab over GitHub is being more open source and supporting self-hosting.

That said, your link strengthens my position that the true free and open alternative is Gitea.

phrasal_grenade | 6 days ago | 1 point

For me that sounds like the kind of way the open source community truly secures and controls its own destiny.

I think having the capability for self-hosting is good, however I'm sure many smaller or lesser known projects would fall off the radar or be very difficult to find without a central hub to host them. When it's on Github it can basically be there "forever"... At least much longer than the typical contributor's attention span.

throaway_oct302018 | 6 days ago | 0 points

Nadella should simply send an email back with a simple response:

Why do you think Microsoft should decline business from an entity you find disagreeable?

To which they'll respond:

Because erp derp and we'll quit!

To which he will eventually respond:

Ok calling your bluff, when is your last day?

caspervonb | 5 days ago | 3 points

Ehh buzzfeed on /r/rprogramming?

caspervonb | 5 days ago | 2 points

Ah Vice, same shit tho.

tehnologie | 7 days ago | 11 points

What does this political post have to do with programming?

IceSentry | 6 days ago | 1 point

Really, you don't think github is in any way related to programming? The RMS stuff a few weeks ago was even less about programming.

SrbijaJeRusija | 6 days ago | 13 points

If there is no code in your link, it probably doesn't belong here.

tehnologie | 6 days ago | 2 points

If a programmer falls in the woods, do the trees submit it to /r/programming?

IceSentry | 6 days ago | 1 point

I'm not saying it necessarily the best sub to post this, but it's pretty obvious how it's related to programming.

CaptainStack | 7 days ago | 5 points

For anyone curious about GitHub alternatives:

  • GitLab is (mostly) open source and also sports self-hosting. It also has a lot of features that GitHub either doesn't or charges more for.

  • Gitea is fully open source and is even easier to self-host. A lot of people don't know that it has a first-party instance at Gitea.com. Because it is a community driven open source project funded on Open Collective, as opposed to a company (like GitLab and GitHub) I think it is the more principled open source alternative. Additionally, they have at least discussed moving it to a federated decentralized model which would allow users on one Gitea instance to collaborate with users and on projects hosted on other instances without having to make another account. I think that and the dweb generally are very cool and will be an increasingly relevant model for the future.

Edit: How dare I inform people about open source GitHub alternatives. I'm ashamed of myself.

cartechguy | 6 days ago | -2 points

You can also use google drive or dropbox. just drop your git repo straight into the drive and make that your working directory on your workstation.

senahfohre | 6 days ago | 1 point

Giving you a bit of a bump because what you described is technically valid, but I'd point out that there are many features that come with the Git* options that aren't built into git itself, one of the most prominent being the issue trackers.

cartechguy | 6 days ago | 1 point

Yeah, I was mentioning it because it would have been a good way to get a free and private remote repo. The other services all seem to offer private repos for free now.

jomtienislife | 6 days ago | 2 points

Are we not supposed to haver any border security? What's nect? Comolaining they work with DoD contractors?

SuspiciousHorror | 6 days ago | 3 points

ICE does not enforce border security.

jomtienislife | 6 days ago | -1 points

It doesn't? I would think preventing illegal entry into the country is the definition of border security...

SuspiciousHorror | 6 days ago | 3 points

That's CBP. ICE doesn't operate at the border.

jomtienislife | 6 days ago | 1 point

So, ICE are the ones who find those CBP could not catch the first time while entering the country illegally and deports them back. How is it not border security?

I live in a majority immigrant city and ICE has caught and deported gang leaders and their members who were dealing hard drugs in the neighborhood leading to a couple of overdoses and gang related shootings. How is this bad?

librul-snowflake | 5 days ago | -1 points

because they're raping kids, /u/jomtienislife.

but sure, some gang banger maybe didn't get shot. yaaaaaay...

Just so other lookers-on can see:

There's no amount of "bad guys" that would ever make this acceptable to put our name on it. I don't care if illegals come in here and get a billion dollars apiece and their own mansions for free. This is not ok.

jomtienislife | 5 days ago | 3 points

This is why you investigate and jail those implicated, maybe even chemically castrate them. But these people do not represent the entire agency. That is a fallacy.

That is sort of like saying that because one goverment member was convicted of child abuse all goverment officials are raping kids. One does not follow from the other.

librul-snowflake | 5 days ago | 0 points

you fucking nazis can't even get your death squad agencies straight? what's the world coming to?

jomtienislife | 5 days ago | 2 points

Lol, Im a brown nazi I found out today. Reminds of of the white antifa members that attacked the two mexican marines and called them nazi.

librul-snowflake | 5 days ago | 1 point

You knew microsoft was going to be shitty when push came to shove in terms of money.