Jan 28, 2017

Tech leaders respond to immigrant ban

AP

Google's Sundar Pichai and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg spoke out against Trump's executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

We're upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US…It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues. —Sundar Pichai in email to employees

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said he's concerned about the impact of the orders and that the U.S. should keep its doors open to refugees.

We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don't pose a threat will live in fear of deportation. — Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook

Why Silicon Valley cares: Tech companies have real workforce issues to consider. A large number of immigrants work at these companies. Silicon Valley companies rely on temporary visas for high-skilled foreign workers to fill thousands of engineering and technical jobs say they can't fill with domestic talent. Trump has been hostile to any visas that he sees as taking jobs from Americans.

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Supreme Court to hear Philadelphia case over same-sex foster parents

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.