The Trump administration reportedly wants tech workers to do tours of duty in government.
White House officials on Monday planned to meet with tech giants including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM, to discuss ways to make it easier for employees to take leaves of absence to help with government projects, according to The Washington Post. The administration reportedly hopes tech industry workers will be able to help modernize state and federal agencies and tackle challenges such as upgrading the veterans’ health care system.
Attracting tech talent may prove difficult for the Trump administration, which hasn’t always seen eye to eye with Silicon Valley on issues such as the president’sfrom predominantly Muslim countries. However, White House officials believe tech workers are willing to “put politics aside.”
“This event on Monday is not just about our efforts, it’s about our successor, and their successor after that,” said one unnamed official, according to the Post. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Some tech industry workers have recently protested their company’s work with the government. Google’s employees protested earlier this year requesting the search giant withdraw from Project Maven, a US military initiative to use artificial intelligence to power targeted drone attacks. Amazon employees in June protested the company’s sales of facial recognition technology to US law enforcement. In the same month, Microsoft employees protested the company’s work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, over the separation of families that crossed the US border illegally. Microsoft said it wasn’t aware its Azure services were used for that purpose.
Google confirmed it received such requests from the White House. Microsoft, Amazon and IBM didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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