Alex Karp is the chief executive of Palantir, which makes data-mining software used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to terrorize immigrants and others. In his Sept. 6 Friday Opinion essay, “Stay out of politics, Silicon Valley,” he complained that some corporations are taking a moral stand against the kinds of invasive, unreliable software he makes.
He made the point that “some . . . companies are taking the power to decide these issues away from elected officials and judges and giving it to themselves. . . . This is not the way consequential policy decisions should be made. I don’t believe I should have that authority.” Like it or not, Mr. Karp does have the authority to decide what his company makes and sells.
He further stated, “No leader should knowingly permit his or her products to be used illegally.” But what about immorally? Having the legal right to do something does not relieve you of all moral responsibility.
He had it exactly backward when he stated, “The U.S. Marine serves; the Silicon Valley executives walk. This is wrong.” No, Mr. Karp, this is right. The Marine has no choice; Silicon Valley executives do. And so does he.
Kathie Sowell, Vienna