Donald Trump has a history of conflict with the tech industry. (Gage Skidmore / CC 2.0)

Dozens of high-ranking officials in the technology industry have pledged their opposition to a Donald Trump presidency in an open letter published Thursday. “We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation,” the letter states. It goes on to list reasons Trump would harm technological advances, starting with his immigration policy:

Great ideas come from all parts of society, and we should champion that broad-based creative potential. We also believe that progressive immigration policies help us attract and retain some of the brightest minds on earth—scientists, entrepreneurs, and creators. … Donald Trump, meanwhile, traffics in ethnic and racial stereotypes, repeatedly insults women, and is openly hostile to immigration.

The letter then explains how a free internet is crucial for technological development, and states:

Donald Trump proposes “shutting down” parts of the Internet as a security strategy—demonstrating both poor judgment and ignorance about how technology works. His penchant to censor extends to revoking press credentials and threatening to punish media platforms that criticize him.

Finally, it addresses the overlap of government and the tech industry. “[W]e believe that government plays an important role in the technology economy by investing in infrastructure, education and scientific research,” the letter states. “[Trump’s] reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America. He risks distorting markets, reducing exports, and slowing job creation.”

The letter is signed by “dozens of tech heavyweights,” notes Jennifer Booton at MarketWatch. Among them were “Qualcomm Inc. Chairman Paul Jacobs, Tumblr CEO David Karp, Box Inc. CEO Aaron Levie, eBay Inc. co-founder Pierre Omidyar, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Yelp Inc. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, Facebook Inc. vice president Margaret Stewart, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, and a number of venture capitalists,” Booton wrote.

Trump has not responded to the open letter, although he has quite a history of conflict with the tech industry. In the past, he’s slammed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, to name a few.

—Posted by Emma Niles


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