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Friday, 15 November 2019 12:06

GitHub sells its soul and ethics for US$200,000

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GitHub sells its soul and ethics for US$200,000 Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

GitHub officials have kept silent in public about the protests staged at the venue of the company's annual user conference on Wednesday, but at a private media session chief executive Nat Friedman was quizzed about it.

Friedman told his questioner that when it came to doing business with the US Government, GitHub was merely a customer.

He added that while the company may not agree with every government decision, it could but use its voice to influence lawmakers, influence judges, and do philanthropic work to help communities.

In his view, this was the right way to participate in a democratic country.

Friedman also pointed out that Microsoft, which owns GitHub, had been the lone company to join a lawsuit filed in support of the Dreamers by Docker.

The sum that GitHub is getting from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a pathetic US$200,000.

The fact that it is unwilling to give up what is chump change to cut ties with a government entity that separated infants from their parents at the US-Mexican border give one an indication of the values and ethics it espouses.

But then the culture at Microsoft — which would have now spilled over into GitHub — is one that values the dollar, the pound, the ryal, the dinar, the dirham and the rouble above everything else.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has made no secret of his obsession with money. The most recent evidence of this came when he was interviewed by Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times about the proposal by Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to impose more taxes on billionaires.

Gates, who was worth more than US$100 billion at the time the question was asked, appeared to be worried about a proposal that would at most take US$10 billion more from him. Does he think he can take that money with him when he crosses over?

With those values dominating the culture at GitHub, is it any wonder that Friedman is offering lame excuses to justify taking money from a body that presides over the separation of infants from their parents?

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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