Microsoft’s GitHub subsidiary plans to renew an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), even though GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and other employees are against ICE’s practice of separating migrant children from their families at the southern border, Vice reported.
Microsoft’s decision, which echoes similar ones that companies like Amazon and Salesforce have made, highlights the tricky balance technology companies must strike as they weigh the ethical implications of doing business with government agencies pursuing controversial policies.
This is also one of the toughest calls that Friedman—who oversees a code-sharing service with some 37 million users—has had to make since he became CEO of GitHub last October.
GitHub’s user base likely includes a large number of people who might disagree with the decision to renew the ICE contract. Some might decide to move their code to GitLab—GitHub’s main competitor—which is growing quickly and last month announced a $268 million Series D round at a $2.75 billion valuation.