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Does that smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape and murder in the depths of Africa?

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posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 06:01 AM
Gadget makers must label parts from war-torn Congo

A new U.S. law requires companies to identify the source of minerals in their components

NEW YORK — Does that smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape and murder in the depths of Africa? Soon, you'll know: A new U.S. law requires companies to certify whether their products contain minerals from rebel-controlled mines in Congo and surrounding countries.

It's a move aimed at starving the rebels of funds and encouraging them to lay down their arms.

But experts doubt the law will stop the fighting. Furthermore, they say, it could deprive hundreds of thousands of desperately poor Congolese of their incomes and disrupt the economy of an area that's struggling for stability after more than decade of war.

"For many, many people, it's the only livelihood they have," said Sara Geenen, a researcher at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, who just returned from a trip to the Kivu provinces in eastern Congo.

At issue are three industrial metals — tin, tantalum and tungsten — and gold. Tin is used in the solder that joins electronic components together. Tantalum's main use is in capacitors, a vital component in electronics. Tungsten has many uses, including light-bulb filaments and the heavy, compact mass that makes cell phones vibrate.

Exports of these metals from eastern Congo have been the subject of a campaign by nonprofit advocacy groups for a few years, one that's borne fruit with the addition of a "Conflict Minerals" provision to the financial-regulation legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law Wednesday.

A recent YouTube video modeled after Apple Inc.'s well-known ads is titled "I'm a Mac ... and I've Got a Dirty Secret." The video says "a lot" of the world production of the four metals comes from Congo, though the contribution is relatively small.

MSNBC News Article

This is going to be a very touchy subject in my opinion.
I read a thread awhile back about how computer companies use these materials, and also get them from the Congo.

It's very sad if this were to be true. And I honestly believe it is. The companies that do use the minerals for electornics and such, need to be viewed closly how the trading is going down.

Here is the video quoted in the article "I'm a Mac ... and I've Got a Dirty Secret"

Interested in hereing the ATS Community's views and opinions.


[edit on 25-7-2010 by Oozii]

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 09:02 AM
In the long run it will only hurt the people there who try to work to earn a living.. The idiots doing the fighting are almost always funded and armed by outside parties who profit from the misery they cause in the world..

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 09:28 AM
Why are you targeting smart phones? The metals that are exported are made into literally millions of different items, including smart phones, non-smart phones, hell even walkie-talkies and alarm clocks.

That being said, even if they made smartphones emit the sound of a raped woman screaming every time that you used the touch screen, do you think people would really go get a refund and stop using phones altogether?

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 10:01 AM
We cannot internalize every crime on this planet that someone perpetrates, and blame ourselves for something other individuals are prone to do.

There is such a thing as "personal responsibility". Play it where it lays.

It would be egocentric of us, as a country to believe we even remotely wield this kind of power, that something we do here as simple as using an iphone will cause some massive reaction in other parts of the world.

People from other countries sometime seem to like to believe that we do wield this kind of power. People seem to enjoy blaming us for things. Sometimes they have to go to a great amount of trouble to find a problem, and then follow the path....or make one, that leads back to Westerners behaviors or actions as a causal factor.

That would be making the world our "puppets". The world is not our puppet. I can't and won't take credit for their misdeeds, nor should anyone else.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by Oozii

IMHO this recent blast by the MSM is to misdirect people from the suicides at FoxConn and in France prior to the iPhone 4 release.

The west is conditioned to accept atrocities in Africa.

Is is disgusting that people felt their only option was suicide because the demand for iPhone4 was important that life itself. It is even worse that no one cares still. They only care that reception sucks on their device.

Having said that, thank you for the article. I wish more people would understand the cost of human life that goes into the gadget process.

posted on Jul, 25 2010 @ 11:04 AM
I think this is a problem, but in a way, we have bigger fish to fry right now.

I see "conflict oil" as the bigger problem, and much of our oil is like that.

As much as you can say:

"Does that smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape and murder in the depths of Africa?"

It can be said even more

"Does that gas in your car contribute to rape and murder in the depths of the Middle East?"

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