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Yes Men Protest Conflict Minerals with iPhone 4cf, Apple Slaps Back

iPhone 4cf
Left-wing activist pranksters the Yes Men are no strangers to stoking the ire of politicians, companies, and lobbying groups. But they may have thrown stones at the wrong multinational corporation when they targeted Apple with a satirical site extolling the virtues of the iPhone 4cf -- a fictional, "conflict-free" design. A dedicated spoof site promised that the iPhone4cf is exactly like the regular iPhone 4, except that it's made entirely of conflict-free minerals. That means no copper from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, ultimately, a better world everybody.

That's the argument, at least. Sure, the Yes Men's politics are a tad simplistic. (Although, we don't think anyone would argue that financially supporting an oppressive and violent regime, even indirectly, is a good thing. Mother Jones goes in-depth on the complexity of the Congolese minerals issue here.) Still, we're certain the organization was a little surprised to find out just how unfunny Apple would find the site. The company fired off a hostile e-mail to the site's service provider, and got the spot-on Apple.com imitation shut down.

Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum has said the site will go back up at a different location. Still, it's strange to target Apple, a company with a policy against using conflict minerals. (To be fair, even Steve Jobs admits that Apple can't be absolutely certain that its parts come from conflict-free mines.) There are surely plenty of other electronics manufacturers that still use conflict minerals in cell phones and digital audio players, yet lack any plans to abandon the practice. Check out the gallery below to see shots taken from the iPhone 4cf site, courtesy of Flickr user escapehelicopter.

iPhone 4cf

Tags: apple, conflict minerals, ConflictMinerals, congo, iphone, iphone 4cf, Iphone4cf, politics, protest, top, web, yes men, yesmen