Foxconn is often held up as the poster child for tainted gadgets, but there’s far worse in war-torn Congo, from whence many of the minerals that ultimately make up the innards of our smartphones come.
Steve Jobs has personally weighed in the issue in the past and now so too has the US government with a new law.
The law is simple – “conflict minerals” from Congo must be labelled as such – and is designed to hit rebels where it hurts most (their wallets)
All well and good, yes, but the impact on the Congolese people, many of whom depend on the mines for work, remains to be seen.
Worse still, advocacy groups worry that companies might bypass Congo altogether and find their minerals elsewhere. Presently, Congo represents only 5 per cent of the world’s tin, for example, so whether or not this is a case of the road to you-know-where being paved with good intentions remains to be seen. [MSNBC, Image: Washington Post]