The electronics industry, it seems, has a dirty little secret. Circuit boards, cameras, mobile phones and more all rely on conflict minerals
— gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten that is mined with little regard for human rights in war-torn regions of Central Africa.
Danish filmmaker Frank Poulsen exposed the child labour and horrific conditions of a typical Congolese mine in his 2010 documentary Blood in the Mobile
— I saw and wrote about it in 2012
, but four years after the film was made the problem of conflict minerals is still not widely discussed.
There has at least been some progress... Intel announced at this year's CES that their 2014 microprocessors will be conflict mineral-free
. And in the mobile space, a company called Fairphone
has shipped its first batch of ethical smartphones to early adopters. Someone on reddit posted photos of their device to r/Android
; I thought them worthy of re-posting here.