Computer Professionals Vow: “Never Again!”
Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them.
A group of computer professionals in Silicon Valley reminds us of our morals.
They’ve started a new website, NeverAgain.tech, reminding IT professionals of our moral responsibilities.
They’ve always been there. The IBM corporation made their bones on data, before the first computer had ever been invented. The company was literally founded on the principle of a simple hole in a paper card, a hole that could represent all kinds of information.
Such as a person’s name, or address, or age.
Edwin Black, an author, and a child of Holocaust survivors, had always wondered, “how did the Nazis get their names? How did they know where they were?” How did the Nazis track Der Juden?
When the Nazis took power, they hired IBM, through their German subsidiary Dehomag, to install card sorting machines throughout the country. The same technology that was used to transform the American census of 1890, would now be used to commit, to speed up, to industrialize the process of genocide, as never before.
IBM’s president, Thomas A. Watson, was a technocrat for his times, every bit as ruthless as anyone in Silicon Valley today. He was so instrumental in Nazi Germany’s program, that the Reich awarded him the Merit Cross of the German Eagle with Star, a honor created specifically for him, the highest award the Nazis could give to a non-German.
(Watson was later forced, with much reluctance, to refuse the award, after word got out.}
Throughout the war, until Germany fell, IBM’s machinery, and the thousands of trained staff on that machinery, continued to work until 6 million souls were extinguished.
These people are our forefathers, the predecessors to people like me. I have been one of these people for 30 of my 54 years.
I’ve signed onto this.
Not under my name.
Not in my country.
Not with my people.
Don’t give them their lists.
Don’t help the Nazis get their card sorters.
If you work in Silicon Valley, IT, or anywhere around a computer, sign on.
Do it today.