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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.

Uber Plans to Track Users Should Not Be Allowed, Says Privacy Group
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
June 22nd, 2015
A formal complaint has been filed against Uber, the car ride company, by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a non-profit advocacy group. The NGO says Uber plans to use their smart phone app to access user’s locations at all times, and to send advertisements to user’s contact lists.

Retailer SportsDirect Accused of Sweatshop Like Conditions in the UK
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
June 1st, 2015
SportsDirect, a British sports merchandise retailer, has been accused of employing workers in sweatshop like conditions by Channel Four Dispatches, a UK TV program. The broadcaster aired undercover footage shot by a reporter at the company’s Shirebrook warehouse in northern England.

UNIQLO, Japanese Fast Fashion Label, Accused of Labor Violations
by Mayu ChangCorpWatch Blog
April 13th, 2015
Chinese factories in Dongguan and Guangzhou that supply UNIQLO - a “fast fashion” label owned by Fast Retailing Co. from Japan - have been accused of endangering their workers’ lives, according to a new report from Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong-Kong based labor rights group.

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.

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