Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground, which aired on PBS’s Frontline, has won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine. The documentary was created by students at the University of British Columbia and professor Peter Klein.
Klein and his graduate students worked on the documentary for about five months to uncover where discarded computer equipment was being shipped. His student teams visited Ghana, Hong Kong and India in search of answers. They discovered public health, human rights and national security concerns.
When the students went to Accra, the capital of the African nation of Ghana, they found a former wetland littered with electronic waste. Children would smash the equipment open to extract useable meta for melting down and sale.
The students discovered that fraudsters in Ghana would search discarded computers for sensitive financial information belonging to the computers’ former owners.
In one market, the group went undercover and bought seven hard drives. Along with credit card numbers and photos, they found information on U.S. government contracts from a discarded computer that once belonged to American military contractor Northrop Grumman.
Watch the following YouTube clips. You’ll be shocked at what happens to our so-called “clean technology”: