A dramatic turn of events this is. Since technology started taking root in the world and affecting our lives, doomsayers have had a field day giving blunt opinions on how we are all going to wake up dead one morning courtesy of these gadgets.
While it is true that some gadgets come with a red button that can be pressed to wipe out an entire civilization, tech companies have started giving human beings a feeling of security, if not an assurance thereof. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, though. The original consensus was that the government would regulate technology, not the other way round. That was until Donald Trump, a man always looking forward to rewriting the definition of a president, ascended to the throne.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program that was created by former President Barack Obama to allow people who were brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the country. Its beneficiaries, aptly christened Dreamers, live and work legally in the U.S. for renewable two-year periods.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, never one to turn down an order from the president however crazy, created a fire storm by announcing Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, calling it “an unconstitutional exercise.” Many of the affected went on with their immediate lives given that the president had not [yet] confirmed their worst fears. That was the shortest period of their lives. “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” Trump was to tweet later, waking the dreamers up to reality. Millions of users descended on the Tweet like bees on an intruder but none went close to help matters quite like the techies did.
“This is a sad day for our country,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. “The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it,” he concluded.
As if that was not loud enough, Microsoft weighed in, telling Congress that “We need to put the humanitarian needs of these 800,000 people on the legislative calendar before a tax bill,” The company, Lord have mercy, stands to lose 39 of their best employees should Trump make good his promise.
Google chief Sundar Pichai was not left behind either. “Dreamers are our neighbors, our friends, and our co-workers. This is their home. Congress needs to act now to #DefendDACA. #WithDreamers” he tweeted.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who counts on 250 dreamers in his company took to Twitter to say that his guys and others like them “… deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.”
Although President Obama and other sane leaders were to throw their hat in the ring later on, the influence of the Zuckerberg and his genius counterparts cannot be overstated. Trump should be very afraid that their words, unlike ‘yours and mine’, are not hot air. As Tweeter update their policy seemingly to tame Trump’s tongue, the tech honchos can find other ways to leverage their services against POTUS and we know where that will leave him.
Russian technology may have “aided” the current government’s shocking win but American technology, of course superior, can arrange for a handover of power even before the rubber squarely hits the road.
The world has a new set of heroes.