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Apple, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Facebook have all backed down over US President Trump’s controversial travel ban.
Trump had recently instigated a second travel band after courts blocked the first.
At the time, Apple and a significant number of tech firms were listed as supporters of the lawsuit attempting to block the original ban. However, following the issuing of the revised Executive Order, Apple and others have decided not to list themselves a second time.
Despite this, a legal brief was filed at a federal court in Hawaii on behalf of Silicon Valley companies. However, only 58 companies were listed – less than half of the 127 companies that put their weight behind a similar brief in February.
Microsoft, eBay, Intel, Netflix and Twitter also declined to sign the brief, despite supporting the first. However, Airbnb, Dropbox and Kickstarter all maintained their support.
Following the filing of the brief, and in response to the lawsuit, US District Judge Derrick Watson said that “a reasonable, objective observer … would conclude that the executive order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion,” and granted a temporary restraining order.
President Trump has pledged to appeal against the block as the brief continues through the courts.
The signing of the brief is part of an action that essentially means the organizations act as a “friend-of-the-court.” However, Apple has not commented on its decision to refrain, and it’s possible for the company to lend their support once more if they decide to do so. Reuters, which reported on the decision, quotes a New York lawyer and co-author of the brief, Robert Atkins. He said “we do expect the group to expand.”
Perhaps this time around, Apple is too busy focusing on its next event.