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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More