An amendment included in the financial overhaul bill completed on Friday aims to force high-tech manufacturers such as Apple to reconsider the use of minerals that could be fueling violence in Congo, reports “The Hill” (http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/105723-financial-overhaul-targets-mineral-use-by-apple-microsoft-violence-in-congo).
The article says the language mirrors a bill introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) requiring companies to make annual Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures about what materials they use and the origin of certain minerals. Activists who lobbied for the amendment charge that warlords make millions off American technology companies by controlling mines that contain minerals used in cell phones, computers, DVD players, and other consumer electronics products — including the Mac, iPhones, iPods, etc.
The Enough Project, an anti-genocide group, directly links Congo violence to the largest 21 technology companies. It hailed the progress of the financial reform bill on Friday. Enough was conceived in 2006 by a small group of concerned policymakers and activists who wanted to transform their frustration about inaction into pragmatic solutions and hope. Co-founded by Africa experts Gayle Smith and John Prendergast, Enough launched in early 2007 as a project of the Center for American Progress.