Where Do You Stand on Humanitarian Technology?

This headline may lead you to think about assistive technology or laptops for students in underserved communities. While we’re in favor of both of these initiatives, this post is about something we rarely think about at this end of the value chain. This is about the source of certain raw materials—minerals that are at the heart of the technology devices we collectively manufacture, integrate and sell every day. It may surprise you to learn just how these “conflict minerals,” in the wrong hands, can play a role in violent activities half way around the world.

CF Minerals Every Day Life

Let’s start with the meaning of “conflict minerals.” Certain minerals—tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold—are integral to the manufacture of technology products and other everyday items—from your laptop to your mobile phone to your car, or the lights in your home. These minerals originate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjacent countries. They are classified as “conflict minerals” as a result of the practice of some militias and rebel groups using the money from the sale of these minerals to fund violent conflicts.

CES Conflict-Free Panel

What can you do about it?

Technology is supposed to solve problems and make lives easier. Intel is proud to say we have the world’s first, commercially available, conflict-free microprocessors that can do just that.

If you heard Brian Krzanich’s keynote at CES 2014, then you know that he announced an important milestone: Every microprocessor manufactured by Intel in 2014 will be conflict-free. By working with partners and following the supply chain starting with mining operations and validated smelters, Intel can monitor the source and flow of conflict-free minerals through the complete manufacturing process. By sourcing Intel-based products with the “conflict-free” (CF) processor designation, you can help stop the flow of conflict minerals. You can be part of the solution through awareness, advocacy and action. You can stand for human rights.

CF Logo

It’s never too late to do the right thing.

1 “Conflict minerals,” as defined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is a broad term that means tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, regardless of whether these minerals finance conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries.

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