News / Science & Technology

Intel Says Chips Are 'Conflict-Mineral' Free

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
x
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is seen speaking at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
VOA News
U.S. chip maker Intel Corp said its processors are free of so-called “conflict minerals” from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The announcement, the first of its kind from a U.S. technology firm, came from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in his keynote speech to the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday.

"Two years ago, I told several colleagues that we needed a hard goal, a commitment to reasonably conclude that the metals used in our microprocessors are conflict-free," Krzanich said. "We felt an obligation to implement changes in our supply chain to ensure that our business and our products were not inadvertently funding human atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Even though we have reached this milestone, it is just a start. We will continue our audits and resolve issues that are found."

The strife-ridden area of eastern Congo is rich with minerals crucial to the making of many electronics products. These include gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten.

Over the past two decades, militant groups, rebels and various ethnic groups have been waging a bloody conflict fueled by money from “conflict minerals.”

While Intel’s announcement is a first, other companies will soon have to disclose any "conflict minerals" present in their supply chains as stated in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which aims to make transparent various companies’ financial interests in the DRC. The disclosures must be made by the end of May of this year.

You May Like

Photogallery US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

update Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William Qiam from: Vienna, Austria
January 11, 2014 5:21 PM
The biggest problem for both Intel and Enough Project is that both organizations know that it is impossible for Intel to do what they said they could, remove ALL "conflict minerals" from their supply chain the way they said it was accomplished.

Exclusively utilizing the ITRI "bag and tag" and the EICC smelter certification programs is that this self audited simplistic process will NEVER keep "conflict minerals" out of a supply chain in the east of the DRC and the other Great Lakes countries of Africa.

I suggested to ITRI (International Tin Research Group - a UK based tin support trade group) and EICC (The Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition - US based support group of all the global electronics manufacturing) that simply including the mineral fingerprinting capabilities of the mining industry standard XRF technology would give the necessary mineral traceability at a fraction of the cost of the "bag and tag" process alone.

Both ITRI and EICC certification processes are certifying the well known members business practices that the UN Group of Experts and others have consistently reported as being the prime drivers of the instability in the east of the DRC and Great Lakes region since colonial trading days. All one has to do is visit the mining areas in all the Great Lakes countries and they will see first hand that the standard of living of these mining areas is less developed now than during colonial times.

As I suggested to the SEC, and was included in the final "conflict minerals" rules unless the existing technology is utilized it will not be possible to conduct a "reasonable country of inquiry" that is now possible but not if there is no will on the part of companies of the stature of Intel to address this issue in a reasonable manner.

All Intel has really done accomplished at CES 2014 is use CEO Brian Krzanich keynote speech as a marketing gimmick to sell more product. The miners in the east of the DR Congo will have to wait for some small real change to their safety and basic livelihood improvements. I was Managing Director of a miner workforce of 3,800 in Rwanda and saw first hand the abuses the ITRI "bag and tag" process not only doesn't stop but actually encourages.


by: Obama's Law from: DRC
January 09, 2014 3:28 AM
Intel audited some of these smelters itself (see here: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3024292/starting-now-all-intel-microprocessors-are-conflict-free-heres-how-the-company-did-it).

This sets a dangerous precedent that risks turning this issue into a tick-box exercise that values style over substance. Take, for example, last year's tragedy in Bangladesh where more than 600 garment workers died in a building collapse that had been audited as 'safe' by many of the multinational companies sourcing from it.

The comparison with Bangladesh raises another serious issue. In the case of the garment industry, companies are auditing the direct source of the product being sold. This is not the case here.

Most important in determining the conflict-free nature of minerals from the eastern DRC is not what happens from the smelter to the final product, but from the mine to the smelter. You can go as deep into a smelter as you like, it's not going to tell you about the most important journey minerals make before they get there.

www.obamaslaw.com

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid