Oregon pension fund is invested in spyware, prison companies

TIGARD, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s state employee pension fund is invested in an Israeli company whose smartphone spyware has been used against dissidents, human rights defenders and journalists by repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia.

It’s also invested in two prison companies that run immigrant detention facilities, even though Oregon pioneered statewide sanctuary status.

Investors around the globe are increasingly incorporating social values like climate change and human rights in deciding where to put their money. A 2018 survey by the U.S. Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment found asset managers in the United States consider such criteria across $11.6 trillion in assets, representing roughly $1 out of every $4 under professional management.

Oregon’s situation shows the practice remains aspirational in some states, while others, like New York and California, have taken strides.