Blood spattered PCs
US IT outfits might be required to confirm that they do not source the tantalum used in capacitors from the Congo. A lot of Tantalum is mined from Australia, and most IT companies say their suppliers assure them that they get it from there. Their suppliers apparently tell them that they do not buy the stuff from a dodgy Congo warlord from the back of a blood splattered truck.
According to the Enough Project about a fifth of the world's known tantalum supply comes from the conflict torn Congo where as many as 45,000 people die per month. The Enough Project has taken it upon themselves to try to alleviate the situation in the Congo through protests here at home. It says that US IT corporations are indirectly financing the Congolese warlords and terrorist groups, including the FDLR, who perpetuate the killing.
The Enough Project says the big names in technology do not check where the supply of tantalum comes from due to cost concerns. Now that the iPhone is jolly popular the Enough Project has been mobilizing. They've organized protests outside Apple's new store in Washington, they've gotten an op-ed in the New York Times from columnist Nicholas Kristof, and they've gotten a few actors to create an "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" parody .
While it is a good cause, it is unlikely to stop Apple fanboys from questioning how their iPhone's are made. After all they didn't complain when it was revealed that Chinese teenagers who were making the iPhones were throwing themselves off buildings because they were so depressed at their working conditions. All this makes you wonder if your average fanboy would buy an iPhone made out of human skin if it had an Apple logo on it.
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