EMC and Cloudera withdraw from Indiana big data event

Execs issue weekend Tweets objecting to religious freedom law

The technology industry's objections to the US State of Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which permits businesses to decline to serve people on the basis of sexuality or other traits, have deepened after EMC and Cloudera cancelled their presence at a forthcoming conference.

On Saturday, Cloudera veep of marketing announced the company will not attend IndyBigData, a May 7th shindig the company has sponsored.

EMC president of products and marketing Jeremy Burton Tweeted followed suit on Sunday.

We intend to take a stand against this discrimination by not attending IndyBigData later this month.

— Jeremy Burton (@jburton) March 29, 2015

Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff Tweeted his appreciation of the decision.

It's hard to know how much EMC and Cloudera are putting themselves out with the decision to boycott the event. The event's top sponsorship category is called ”elephant” and costs US$30,000. Which is back of the sofa money even if both companies pay up the organiser, a local small business called Conference Ventures that looks to have nothing whatsoever to do with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, meanwhile, has explained his objections to the law in a Washington Post op-ed in which he argues “It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings."

The Reg suspects this one has a way to run: Pivotal Labs, another EMC Federation member, is silent on its IndyBigData sponsorship at the time of writing. Oracle is listed as a sponsor and, like Salesforce and Apple, calls liberal-thinking Silicon Valley home. The Tweetosphere is already home to calls for Amazon Web services to boycott the event. ®

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