Sept. 12, 2012, saw the unveiling of three radical new designs with world-changing potential: the iPhone 5 and the Dodd-Frank Act's rules on human rights.
Although the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is best known for regulating banks, Congress slipped in two novel sections that use informational regulation to deter U.S. companies from fueling war and corruption overseas. Section 1502 forces certain industries (including phone makers and retailers) to identify Congolese conflict minerals in their supply chain. Section 1504 forces oil, gas and mining firms to publicly report the payments they make to dodgy governments around the world.
Like the iPhone 5, both rules encountered early glitches, then fulfilled their innovative potential before being surpassed by improved versions.