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Technology & Telecommunications

Technology has seeped into nearly every aspect of modern life, from the food we eat to the ways we communicate. Consequently, telecommunications and technology coprorations have gained huge power over the past two decades. Cable companies bicker with telephone monopolies over the internet; customer support for ubiquitous laptop computers is offshored from Silicon Valley to Bangalore; obsolete electronics pile up in developing world landfills, exposing children to toxic metals; and multinationals tinker with the technology of nature to make a tomato that doesn't spoil on a grocery shelf. Ubiquity, especially when it melds into the background of daily life, is perhaps the most powerful tool of corporate power.


Apple Agrees To Chinese Government Security Audits, Worrying Activists
by Mayu Chang
February 11th, 2015
Apple has agreed to allow the Chinese government run security audits on the new iPhone to prove that there is no back door access for the U.S. government. However, activists say that this agreement could have the opposite effect, allowing China to broaden spying on its own people.

Indian Government Loses Major Tax Case to Vodafone
by Mayu ChangCorpWatch Blog
November 4th, 2014
Vodafone recently won a rare – but potentially very significant – victory over Indian tax authorities. The Bombay High Court dismissed the government demand for the company to pay 30 billion rupees (about $490 million) for a share transaction conducted in the offshore tax haven of Mauritius.

Fashion District Businesses Accused of Laundering Mexican Drug Money
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
September 30th, 2014
One thousand law enforcement officers staged an early morning raid on dozens of businesses in Los Angeles fashion district to seize $65 million allegedly derived from drug trafficking. QT Fashion, a company that imports wholesale maternity wear from China to Mexico, provided a key to the money laundering scheme.

Amazon Workers in Germany Strike for Better Pay
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
September 23rd, 2014
Some 2,000 German employees of Amazon, the internet retail giant, walked off their jobs this week at four sites - Bad Hersfeld, Graben, Leipzig and Rheinberg. The strike action was coordinated by Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (United Services Union), a Berlin trade union commonly known as Ver.di.

Fast Food Workers Hold Biggest Ever Strike For Wages in U.S.
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 5th, 2014
Hundreds of low wage fast food workers were arrested at strikes and protests in some 100 cities around the U.S. on September 4. They were demanding that companies like Burger King, KFC, McDonald's and Wendy's pay workers a living wage of $15 an hour.

Pakistan Courts to Hear Lawsuit Against Finfisher Spy Software
by Rozali TelbisCorpWatch Blog
May 12th, 2014
A Pakistani court has set a June 5 court date to hear a lawsuit from ‘Bytes for All’ - a digital rights group - for the alleged use of FinFisher spy software by the Pakistani government. The software is manufactured by Gamma International, an Anglo-German company.

Yue Yuen Shoe Factory Backs Down After Workers Strike for Pensions
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 3rd, 2014
Some 40,000 workers in seven Yue Yuen shoe factories in Dongguan city, China, went on strike last month to successfully demand that their employer make pension payments required under the law.

Failed Cuban “Twitter” Project Designed By U.S. Government Contractors
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
April 8th, 2014
ZunZuneo - a now defunct social media platform similar to Twitter – was designed to undermine the Cuban government by two private contractors: Creative Associates International from Washington DC and Mobile Accord, a Denver based company. Funding was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Fast Food Workers File Lawsuit Against McDonald’s for Alleged Wage Theft
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
March 21st, 2014
Over 25,000 low-wage employees working at McDonald’s franchises in California, Michigan and New York are being systematically cheated of their wages, say attorneys who filed seven simultaneous lawsuits last week against McDonald’s and its franchisees for violations of labor law.

Smartphone Game Data Targeted by NSA: Angry Birds Cited
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
January 28th, 2014
Millennial Media, a Baltimore based ad company, creates “intrusive” profiles of users of smartphone applications and games like Angry Birds, according to documents leaked to the media by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Such profiles have been exploited by intelligence authorities like the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), say investigative journalists.

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