Silicon Valley Digital Protest: Another Challenge to Modern Management Methods?

May 24, 2019

One thing you never want to do, and I highly stress never, is anger a tech savvy individual. One famous example is Seth Rogen’s 2011 film, The Interview. The film was about an American talk show host tasked with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. North Koran was not happy about The Interview. Although they denied involvement, North Korea hackers were the alleged culprits hacking the inventor of the Walkman.

Gizmodo tells another allegedly true story in the article, “Palantir’s Github Page Is The New Battleground In The Fight Against ICE.” Tech activists support hot button issues, such as immigration, global warming, and abortion. Palantir has garnered tech activists’ attention, because mom activities dubbed nefarious. Under the Freedom of Information Act, tech activists have learned that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) used Palantir’s technology. Many people do not like ICE, among them are tech activists.

Palantir’s case management app was used by ICE on apprehended people at the Mexican-US border. Tech activists want Palantir employees to be aware of how there products are used. We noted this statement:

“Raising an issue on the collaborative software repositories of Github is an option open to any user, and is usually for the purpose of reporting a bug or requesting a feature. ‘The issue we are planning to raise is obvious a moral issue and an ethical issue with Palantir’s ties to ICE,’ TWC’s Noah Gordon told Gizmodo. ‘This is an appeal from tech workers to tech workers to take a principled stand against family separation and deportation.’

And we circled this passage as well:

‘We believe Palantir has certain policies when it comes to maintenance of their open-source repositories, so Palantir employees will have to manually review these issues,’ Gordon continued, ‘Our belief is if we put the honest facts of the situation directly in the face of Palantir workers they will follow up by making the right decision at work and organizing against ICE.’”

Does tech activism does work. Its impact may be increased when an initial public offering is the subject of speculation. Worth monitoring this particular example of employee action and Palantir management’s response.

Whitney Grace, May 24, 2019


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