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Tech Giant Twitter declines to help if US President-elect Donald Trump seeks to create a national Muslim Registry

Microsoft returned with an answer saying, "We're not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point"

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New York, December 4, 2016: Of the nine major tech giants, including Facebook, Apple and Google, only Twitter has declined to help if US President-elect Donald Trump seeks to create a national Muslim registry, a media report said.

US-based news website the Intercept said it contacted nine of the most prominent firms to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry — an idea recently refloated by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team — and only Twitter said no.

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“We contacted nine different firms in the business of technology, broadly defined, with the following question: ‘Would [name of company], if solicited by the Trump administration, sell any goods, services, information, or consulting of any kind to help facilitate the creation of a national Muslim registry, a project which has been floated tentatively by the President-elect’s transition team?’,” the report said.

After two weeks of calls and e-mails, only three companies provided an answer and only one said it would not participate in such a project.

Google, Facebook, Apple, IBM, IT giant SRA International and Canada-based Information technology consulting company CGI did not provide any answer to the query. Management consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton declined to comment.

Twitter said “No”, and a link, which states as company policy a prohibition against the use, was shared on the website.

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The link read: “To be clear: We prohibit developers using the Public APIs and Gnip data products from allowing law enforcement — or any other entity — to use Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period.”

Microsoft returned with an answer saying, “We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point.”

A link to a company blog post states that “we’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but…inclusive culture” and that “it will remain important for those in government and the tech sector to continue to work together to strike a balance that protects privacy and public safety in what remains a dangerous time”.

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The Intercept cleared that the story was not written to say that the companies which did not reply to the request for a comment or declined to comment, were tacitly endorsing the Trump agenda in general or a Muslim registry in particular.

“Still, it is asking very little of today’s tech companies to prompt them to go on record as unwilling to help create a federal list of Muslims — or so one would very much hope,” the report noted. (IANS)

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Twitter Suspends 2 Accounts Linked to Russian Intelligence After Hacking Indictment

Friday’s indictment was the first by Mueller that directly charges the Russian government with meddling in the election. The Kremlin denies it interfered

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Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news
Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news. Pixabay

Social networking site Twitter Saturday suspended two accounts linked to 12 Russian spies indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

On Friday, a federal grand jury charged the 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016 in the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the election to help Republican Donald Trump.

Twitter said Saturday it had suspended the accounts @DCLeaks_ and @Guccifer_2 that were named in the indictment, which alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy involving sophisticated hacking and staged release of documents.

The indictment alleges that from around June 2016 the conspirators released tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents “using fictitious online personas, including ‘DCLeaks’ and ‘Guccifer 2.0.’”

The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen.
The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen. VOA

In a statement Saturday, a Twitter spokesman said: “The accounts have been suspended for being connected to a network of accounts previously suspended for operating in violation of our rules.”

Twitter in recent months has purged suspicious user accounts in a bid to prevent the dissemination of fake news and “encourage healthy conversation,” the company said this month.

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Friday’s indictment was the first by Mueller that directly charges the Russian government with meddling in the election. The Kremlin denies it interfered.

Speaking at a cybersecurity conference in Philadelphia on Saturday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the indictments proved that the United States “will not tolerate interference with our democratic processes and that there will be consequences for foreign meddling.” (VOA)