House bill aims to block tech giants from building "Muslim registry"

The bill would specifically prevent the government from forcing tech companies to help build the so-called registry.


President-elect Donald Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US. (Image: CNET)

A new House bill would prevent the incoming government from forcing tech companies to build a so-called Muslim registry.

The bill, dubbed the No Religious Registry Act, is set to be reintroduced by Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA, 1st) after it failed just days after now president-elect Donald Trump won the election.

It comes after the Republican candidate made repeated calls for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US during his campaign.

But it's not a new idea. The Bush administration debuted a requirement forcing immigrant boys and men from predominantly Muslim countries to register with the government following the September 11 attacks. However, in his last days of office, the Obama administration shut down the registry.

Rex Tillerson hasn't ruled out the return of such a registry, however, as per sister-site CBS News.

But DelBene wants to nix the registry altogether. In a statement on Thursday, she said that Trump was "breaking his promise to be a President for all Americans" by supporting a registry.

The bill would prohibit any government official from creating or using a registry for the purposes of classifying or monitoring US nationals, visa applicants, or lawful aliens, based on their religious affiliations.

But DelBene hardly seemed thrilled that this was one of her first rounds of business for the new congressional session.

"It's unfortunate I even have to introduce the No Religious Registry Act to prohibit this administration from violating the constitutional rights of Americans, but intolerance and hate have no place in our government," she said.

The reintroduced bill specifically has wording that would prevent the government from enlisting the private sector to build any such registry, a spokesperson for DelBene confirmed.

In December, it was reported that dozens of Silicon Valley engineers pledged in an open letter to not build or support the likely inevitable registry. Since then, BuzzFeed News reported that a number of tech companies -- including Apple, Google, IBM, Uber, as well as Microsoft -- which was previously silent on the matter, would also not help to build the registry.

You can read the full text of the bill below.