back to article Microsoft CEO wades into ICE outcry: Cool it, we only do legacy mail

Microsoft's continued efforts to distance itself from a clumsily worded blog post continued today with the publishing of an email from CEO Satya Nadella. US govt photo of children detained Microsoft shoves US govt IT contract where ICE throws kids: Out of sight in a chain-link cage READ MORE The email follows an open letter …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I often wonder if things like this are engineered to take the flack off politicians, I mean if you're busy pointlessly calling out Microsoft you aren't going to be looking at your politician. I also doubt these billionaire tech CEOs actually give a shit as well but it's nice publicity for your platform to say you care and urge action through a well thought out sentence of words that their staff probably wrote for them anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cool it, we only do surveillance, business as usual

      M$ slurps all corporate mails these days. All Exchange servers that are linked to MS-ID. All emails get relayed over Azure cloud, so that employees can use the nifty Skype for Business (Lync).

      "It's only legacy mail. We collection all the inner-company trade-secrets. Thanks for your co-operation."

      Opt-out.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Avoidance

    All of this hubalaboo ignores the fact that these families wouldn't be separated from their kids if they hadn't entered the country illegally in the first place. Full stop.

    Of course, the media, including you, El Reg, ignore this portion of the issue and cry "think of the children!"

    It seems that the laws in the U.S. are really more like guidelines than something we should enforce. It's a shame, really. There is a process in place that allows laws to be changed, but there is so much hatred between the two big parties that nothing ever gets done, unless you consider name calling getting something productive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avoidance

      So you saying there isn't an occasion where these parents don't have a choice and seeing as though they were aware when entering of what would happen but still tried tells you they didn't have a choice.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Avoidance

        >So you saying there isn't an occasion where these parents don't have a choice...

        The fundamental issue is whether you're entering the US at a port of entry or just walking over the border. Walking over the border is against the law.

        As for 'parents' the US has similar rules to the UK's -- you have to put the children's welfare first which typically means that you don't detain parents. The practice has been to parole them into the country pending an immigration hearing, which like their counterparts in the UK they often don't turn up for, they just disappear. Its really just another strategy for bypassing the system. Its the same with asylum -- the UK's has been awash with asylum seekers who typically use this device to get into the country, fail their application (because asylum isn't granted "just because you want it") and just disappear. The recent efforts to make life difficult for such people -- the efforts that seemed to hit everyone else except the people they were supposed to be targeting (e.g. Windrush, long term EU residents &tc.) -- doesn't alter the fundamental principle. Its easy to get lost in both the UK and the US which is why they're such an attractive target for informal migrants (neither country has an ID card system).

        Anyway, CBP like any other arm of the Federal government has administrative tasks to perform that need the use of a computer.

        1. LeahroyNake

          Re: Avoidance

          'The fundamental issue is whether you're entering the US at a port of entry or just walking over the border. Walking over the border is against the law.'

          Tell that to the native Americans that got invaded by the the British, French and Spanish etc. At least these immigrants are not killing the natives and just want somewhere safe to raise their children. What would you do in their shoes ?

          1. peter_dtm

            Re: Avoidance

            LeahroyNake

            Whataboutism is strong in you

            What the settlers did back then was legal at the time

            Like Africans selling slaves to Arabs who then sold slaves to Europeans was legal then.

            Nothing whatsoever to do with the application of the law (how ever harsh it may seem) that is current.

            What would I do ? Try either obeying the law; or not bitching when caught breaking the law.

            1. HolySchmoley

              Re: Avoidance

              >What the settlers did back then was legal at the time

              Whose law? The invaders'? ('Settlers').

              >Like Africans selling slaves to Arabs who then sold slaves to Europeans was legal then.

              Whose law?

              See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_International_Criminal_Court

              for a US take on law. I wonder why that would be? Guantanemo? Invasions? Regime change? 'Colateral damage'? Etc. Etc. Etc.

        2. kain preacher

          Re: Avoidance

          "The fundamental issue is whether you're entering the US at a port of entry or just walking over the border. Walking over the border is against the law."

          actually no since they still are arresting and taking kids from those that that come via a legal port of entry and ask for asylum,

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Avoidance

            actually no since they still are arresting and taking kids from those that that come via a legal port of entry and ask for asylum,

            If you don't like our terms, you can always go try some other country.

            1. kain preacher

              Re: Avoidance

              Updraft102

              Except that is the legal way to do it . Trump is the first president to do this .

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Avoidance

                Except that is the legal way to do it . Trump is the first president to do this.

                Nope, what he or the neocons pulling his strings do is find existing laws, give the order to interpret them in a way where all hell breaks loose, and offer a solution in the form of a bill which coincidently also does a bunch of other stuff which they wanted in the first place.

                If you haven't seen that by now, you've not been paying attention.

                And hopefully this time they've bitten off more than they can chew.

        3. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Avoidance

          "the UK's has been awash with asylum seekers who typically use this device to get into the country, fail their application [...] and just disappear."

          In 2017 26,000 people applied for asylum, of those, the majority (14,000) were granted asylum. There's doesn't seem to be any hard statistics on what happens to people who's claims are denied, but in 2017 almost 27,000 people were detained, so it's unlikely all, or even most, people who fail to successfully claim asylum, manage to "just disappear".

          (source and on an IT note, it seems the government provides it's figures in .ods format, rather than .xls. Who knew? Other source)

          1. DJO Silver badge

            Re: Avoidance

            Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.

            Give me your tired, your poor,

            Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

            The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

            Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

            I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

            America used to be a beacon, now it's a disgrace.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Avoidance

      laws in the U.S. are really more like guidelines

      All laws in relatively democratic countries are like guidelines as they depend on widespread consent for their application and enforcement. If you don't have consent for a policy, then the process that controls the policy is largely irrelevant.

      There is, of course, the wider philosophical point that the people entering the US to settle aren't US citizens and didn't get a vote on the laws, much as most of the people who have historically entered the US to settle weren't US citizens and didn't care what the local laws were. If a new population wants to displace the current one, law is irrelevant: the only thing that matters is how effective they are. My bet is that the migrants are the more hightly motivated.

    3. kain preacher

      Re: Avoidance

      "All of this hubalaboo ignores the fact that these families wouldn't be separated from their kids if they hadn't entered the country illegally in the first place. Full stop."

      And what about the ones that came a legal port of entry asking for asylum that had their kids snatch? Oh wait that does not fit your narrative.

    4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Avoidance

      Starve

      Get killed by drug barons

      Have your kids taken by people traffickers

      Try to get into a different country.

      So what would your choice be.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Avoidance

        @Will Godfrey:

        Starve

        Get killed by drug barons

        Have your kids taken by people traffickers

        Try to get into a different country.

        So what would your choice be.

        You forgot:

        Go to another country, and get locked up and have your kids taken by allegedly legal processes anyway.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Starve, Get killed by drug barons, etc. etc."

        So, once you turned your country into hell, you try to go to another one and start again?

        Why those countries are utterly failed countries people have to flee? Because they were conquered by martians who turned them into that mess, or because *the very people* living in those countries aren't able to build a better and functional society, but just spend their time exploiting each others, and when they can't they go to another country, where often they apply the same failed rules, because they are utterly unable to understand they were grown in a failed culture and they need to get rid of it and learn a new, better and working one?

        Look at South Africa, oh great, ANC people took the power. Just, they are very busy to exploit their African brothers and sisters to become very rich, with the help of an Indian family which shares the same lack of ethics and greed . Or an article yesterday on the New York Time, were menstruated women and girl in Nepal are sent in external small huts - where many die - because they are "impure" and idiots believe they can lose sight if they touch one. Look at Nadella himself, who made a combined marriage and openly said it's right to pay women less. He may have become a rich CEO, but it's still a poor man.

        I'm afraid of people who escape poverty, ignorance and dangers, but are unable to get rid of the very reasons that created those poverty, ignorance and dangers, and are doomed to replicate them whenever they go, because they are too arrogant and too brainwashed to understand they're wrong.

        Sure, poor people at the border are people in needs and need help. But beware of the risk they'll turn the country they get in, into a copy of the one they left.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. wayne 8

      ICE Policy since GW Bush, Obama.

      Trump has issued exec order to stop breaking up families.

      Obama followed the separation policy.

      No one cared about the policy during Obama's two terms.

      Howl away.

    7. HolySchmoley

      Re: Avoidance

      It's astonishing that anyone wants to enter the US these days.

      Or is there a hidden agenda that the walls will one day keep the would-be escapees in?

    8. TVU

      Re: Avoidance

      "All of this hubalaboo ignores the fact that these families wouldn't be separated from their kids if they hadn't entered the country illegally in the first place. Full stop"

      That is a horrendously reactionary comment that is out of sync with all civilised norms. It is just plain inhumane, uncivilised and unchristian to separate children from their parents and then place them in wire cages under any circumstances.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avoidance

      If more people understood what a convoluted, bureaucratic nightmare the process involved in immigrating to another country is, the calls for immigration reform would include making it less expensive, more efficient, and expeditious. This includes all of the immigrant-accepting countries, not only the USA. I’ll share a couple of personal experiences to illustrate.

      I was a Canadian foreign service officer for twenty years. Although I was not an immigration officer, I frequently issued visas when I was assigned to small diplomatic missions without resident immigration staff. This isn’t unusual in the Canadian foreign service – our diplomatic missions are a small fraction of the population of US embassies/consulates.

      I was frequently asked by potential immigrants if they should engage an lawyer to assist with their application. At the time, my usual response was that if the applicant was truly qualified, an immigration officer would process their application without the need for a lawyer. During the past twenty years, I have changed my opinion considerably. Due to the legal morass that immigration processing has become, without a lawyer ensuring that applications are correct, the chances of refusal are almost guaranteed. The immigration lawyers have morphed from being visa officer groupies to an essential part of the algorithm. The point: I know something about the process and business of immigration.

      I left the foreign service in 1998 for a career in management consulting. In 2005, I was approached to take on a contract in the US – allegedly a short-term engagement to assess the implementation of an enterprise system. I entered the US on a TN-1 visa (the “free-trade”, or NAFTA visa), valid for one year. During this period, the relationship with the client flourished, and they offered to sign a seven-year contract.

      With a substantial investment in legal and other business services, I incorporated, and was granted an L1-A visa. I moved my family to the US and bought a home. I hired staff, sub-contracted work to both American and Canadian consultants, and grew the business. Collectively, we paid well over US$1MM per year in taxes – these included remittances to the IRS from my Canadian consultants. To be precise, we were legal: we utilized the professional services of accountants and lawyers, and all requirements across the gamut of local, state and federal government were met.

      The L1-A visa is a method for obtaining a green card. With the business growing and going well, I applied. It was refused. Despite hiring staff and expanding the business, I was judged to be performing more consultant-type work and not those of a corporate president (even though I was the president). We appealed. We lost. The government visa processing fees and professional services cost well over $200,000 during the seven years I was there.

      My L1A status expired. I let my staff go, folded the business, and returned to Canada.

      What chance does an independent applicant have?

  3. Daedalus

    Solution

    CEO publishes picture of self pointing to exit from building.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Nadella trumpeted Microsoft's "ethics" and "principled" approach"

    The media have been protecting Microsoft up to now, just look at these 2 glorious turds versus reality, rolled out while Facebook was getting roasted:

    ~~~

    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/how-microsoft-mutated-into-a-moral-leader-1.3497629

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-30/if-microsoft-finds-another-linkedin-deal-chairman-is-all-in

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this shit real? Welcome to Robocop Reality

    "The demand that cops don't discuss surveillance technology with members of the media absent Vigilant's permission .... indicative of a truly disturbing pattern emerging in the United States. Local law enforcement obtains federal grants to contract with shadowy surveillance corporations. "

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the first faux pas from SatNad

    There are other examples.

  7. JohnFen

    Face recognition?

    Are they saying that the reports that Microsoft is providing services to improve face recognition are incorrect?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Face recognition?

      The two downvoters obviously couldn't put "Microsoft facial recognition ice" in Bing to find an answer. Here's a tip: try another search engine.

      There is also an Azure contract, which MS is claiming is legacy. Sounds about right.

  8. Not Enough Coffee

    Once a business gets into social politics, it's going to alienate half of the country and eventually be used as a puppet by the other half. On the other hand, it's nice to know I can stop and pee in any Starbucks without having to buy anything.

    1. JohnFen

      Although on this particular issue, opposing this monstrous action on the part of the Trump administration only alienates less than a third of the country.

  9. 2Nick3

    It's not a new law

    It's not a law, folks. Snopes does a great write-up of it. There is a law on the books that is being enforced, but it's been on the books for a long time. The legislators who are all upset about it could always just do their job and, you know, legislate a new law.

    Jail the parents, who have done something illegal (set aside the debate over if it should be illegal or not, the fact is they broke the current law by crossing the border), but what do you do with their children? Jail them, too? Really? Because until the laws change if you don't believe in jailing the children of illegal immigrants then your only other option to separating them from their jailed parents. I don't think there's a 3rd option here.

    Maybe instead of wanting to break contracts with ICE, Microsoft (and the other companies) should stop doing business with Congress until they start looking at fixing the legislation that's in place.

    "No solitaire for you, Senator (and nice score, by the way...), until you fix the Immigration policies!"

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: It's not a new law

      No, the law does not say families should be split up. The law says that unaccompanied minors have to be placed with relatives, juvenile detention centers or foster care.

      So they charge all parents with a crime to make the minors unaccompanied and say "it's not us, the law is making us do it. By the way, vote for this bill of ours and we promise it will stop".

      Of course it won't fucking stop. There'll be something else in six months time. It's Trump and his cohorts' agenda.

      What happened before was families were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.

      Politifact.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: It's not a new law

      Jail the parents, who have done something illegal (set aside the debate over if it should be illegal or not, the fact is they broke the current law by crossing the border),

      Which is a federal misdemeanor the first time they do it (it becomes a felony on repeated attempts) at the same severity as transporting honeybees without a license or false claim of postal losses. Seriously, look it up, it's in US code 18. Never mind that entry AND CLAIMING ASYLUM is not illegal anyway.

      "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

      With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

      "I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  10. Alistair
    Windows

    Hurry Hurry, Step Right Up and See The GREATEST show on earth!!!!!

    I'm pretty sure (and have been for while) that the GOP deciding to punt these two (Trump/Pence) as candidates was the ultimate distraction.

    The damage this administration has done (and continues to do) overall will be to the general (global) population's wealth, security, health and overall future viability. The Wall street financial hyenas are (the ones with the initials GS and 5 8 ex employees in the white house) raking in the profits, and feasting on the results of T&P distracting everyone from the debt financing gambols they are engaging in throughout the globe. And the GOP continues to hand them more toys to play with on a monthly basis.

    Yes, this whole fiasco at the "Boarder" (sic) is horrible to perceive, but the administration has played it out for almost a month now, and the shrieking is loud enough that T&P will fix it. Now, go back over what happened quietly in the midst of the shrieking. There is the path that needs followed. In the meantime a dozen American bedfellow companies have made nice chunks of change off providing "holding centers" and the bodies to run them, and the guards to secure them and the cleaners and construction crews, catering staff, truckers, etc etc. Someone's stock portfolio (in a double blind trust run by a close family member) has improved a wee bit. WHAT ELSE HAPPENED.

    (And I know there are folks out there that will vomit over the idea, but you might want to check out what Noam has to say ......)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. HolySchmoley

      Re: Hurry Hurry, Step Right Up and See The GREATEST show on earth!!!!!

      Well, he's certainly made America (the 'US of' part) Grate Again.

  11. SVV

    The CEO hedging begins....

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted:

    Do everything it takes to #KeepFamilesTogether.

    What are the highest impact ways to help?

    Ooh, I don't know Mr Dorsey, how about not providing an account on your popular platform for disemminating lies and crap almost daily by a certain Very Famous And Senior Politician?

  12. Martin-73 Silver badge

    All microsoft have to do to become the most popular company

    on the entire planet is to simply turn off ICE's access to their network. Entirely. Without warning. And delete all emails and data, including backups.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: All microsoft have to do to become the most popular company

      And delete all emails and data, including backups.

      How about 'accidentally' removing any access protections instead?

  13. Updraft102 Silver badge

    Parents who are arrested are always separated from their children, whatever the crime may be. Steal a car, get separated from the kids. Kill someone, get separated from the kids. Vandalize a store, get separated from the kids. Illegally crossing the border or overstaying a visa are illegal just like those other things, and if you choose to break the law anyway, you have only yourself to blame.

    You can remain intact as a family all you wish if you remain in your country of origin or have the whole family gain legal admittance to the US. Don't break in and act like you have a right to be here because you brought kids on your dangerous, illegal journey. We have legal means for people to become permanent residents or citizens. Use those and there won't be any problems or separation... but if you act like a criminal and do criminal things, expect to be treated like one.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Have you ever looked up the definition of asylum?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. el kabong

      Torture little children... no problem, you are not a criminal

      you are just making 'muricah great again. Kudos to you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Torture little children... no problem, you are not a criminal

        Torture? Where the heck do you get that from? What a perfect example of why discourse and discussion on these topics isn't getting anywhere, by blowing something so out of proportion you can't see rationality any more.

        Torture?

  14. peter_dtm

    What about the employees ?

    If I were a shareholder I would be demanding some scalps. It is called bringing the company into disrepute; it may even qualify as moral turpitude- both tend to be instant dismal offences.

    If you as an employee don’t like what your employer is doing you have a couple of options

    1 tell your boss you will not work on certain contracts

    2 resign and get a job with an employer with whose morals/ethics/politics you can live with

    That’s it for a public company; same for a government department

    Of course option 1 may lead to your early termination; but that wouldn’t worry you because how on earth could you work for such a revolting organisation?

    Like so many other issues now days; it is all about virtue signaling - zero risk to self; as after all you couldn’t be expected to actually DO something could you ?

    (And no; it is not whistle blowing either; as the contracts are a matter of public record)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    LinkedIn members who work for ICE

    LinkedIn members who work for ICE

    --

    'If you've done nothing wrong then you've got nothing to hide'

    or .. build a big spying machine and it'll be used to spy back at you :]

    'if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee'

  16. PhilipN Silver badge

    In other news :

    Today's Financial Times :

    "Facebook, Amazon and Netflix all closed at new highs"

  17. Just Enough
    Unhappy

    Depressing

    Wow. So many Anonymous cowards in these comments. So many heartless monsters happy to tread on the most vulnerable for political purposes. And so many lies and distortions.

    Can't remember a discussion on The Register ever being so depressing.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Depressing

      Agreed, so many idiots. The actual facts are countries almost always benefit from immigration, they generally contribute far more than they consume (in benefits).

      Really it because this tranche of migrants have (the horror) dark skin. Racism is racism no matter how much they try to disguise it.

  18. RobertsonCR7
    Devil

    its like hell out there

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