Did the Money You Just Spend on a Shiny New iPad or Smartphone, Put a Machine Gun in the Hands of a Congolese Rebel?

Written by Jan Corpus. Posted in Mobile, New Media

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Published on December 08, 2014 with 3 Comments

The language of the regulation expresses a Congressional concern that “the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries (together called ‘DRC countries’) is helping to finance conflict characterized by extreme levels of violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly sexual- and gender-based violence, and contributing to an emergency humanitarian situation therein…” The SEC has yet to finalize its rules on the matter, but in the meantime U.S. tech companies, eager to avoid a P.R. nightmare, are moving away from Congolese suppliers. Last year, amidst the financial regulations included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was a requirement that the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) require companies to report their sources of certain conflict minerals.  That’s the image that activists have used to scare U.S. tech companies into getting off of what they call “conflict minerals,” namely tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten sourced from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and surrounding regions, that are, in many cases, controlled by armed militia.

See Full Story at Amy Westervelt via Forbes

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Comments for Did the Money You Just Spend on a Shiny New iPad or Smartphone, Put a Machine Gun in the Hands of a Congolese Rebel? are now closed.

  1. In my opinion, most American consumers–in this weak domestic economy–probably wouldn’t appreciate any increases in the cost of household goods. In addition, they recognize the lack of power in controlling political and commercial corruption in other regions/countries. For instance, if the the government can’t fix or repair the problems in their own backyard, how effective can they be in other regions/countries? Therefore, most will turn a blind eye to the social ills that exist in other regions/countries unfamiliar and unbeknownst to them.

  2. Eradication? That would be difficult. Conflict minerals can be found not only in smartphones and laptops, but anything that uses an electrical current like hair dryers, toasters, microwaves, cars and airplanes. A good place to start would be to list the companies that work with these corrupt powers and attempt to blacklist them. Does anyone have a list of these companies?

  3. There’s a world demand for commodities and it is unlikely any sanctions will have a lasting effect. Listen we need stop trying to medicate and instead eradicate the problem – in this case corrupt powers in the region. The method of eradication is up for debate.