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Much-Read Congressional Magazine Spotlights Conflict Minerals

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Much-Read Congressional Magazine Spotlights Conflict Minerals

Posted by Laura Heaton on September 18, 2009

Much-Read Congressional Magazine Spotlights Conflict Minerals

As we noted on Monday, this week’s edition of the magazine CQ Weekly featured a cover story about the unlikely cooperation between the U.S. government and corporations, a partnership sparked by the overlap between some foreign policy and business interests. Typically, CQ’s material is only available by subscription, but they’ve graciously made an exception this time and published the article on their website. Here’s a clip from ‘Foreign Policy: In the Business of Change’:

Earlier this year, Chinese officials confronted U.S. electronics manufacturers with a delicate business challenge when they ordered all computers sold in China to come installed with “Green Dam Youth Escort,” Internet pornography-filtering software that would give authorities control over users’ computers.

It didn’t take long to discover that the software was designed to block not only sexually explicit materials but politically sensitive content as well. That included links to the outlawed Falun Gong movement, which China regards as a subversive cult, and to criticism of the country’s Communist leadership. In response, American manufacturers loudly protested the regulation, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined an international group of business associations that urged Beijing to scrap the Green Dam order.

Under mounting pressure, China rescinded the software directive in late June for computers sold for home and business use. And computer makers emerged from the controversy not only with undisturbed profits but also as champions of uncensored speech and privacy, among the most sacred of U.S. foreign policy objectives.

Click here to read the full story.


Eileen White Read contributed to this post.