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AssessmentsOct 13, 2021 | 21:20 GMT
The logos of the U.S.-based social media platforms WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook (left to right) are seen on a smartphone screen in Moscow, Russia, on Oct. 5, 2021.
What’s Next for Russia’s Crackdown on Big Tech?
With parliamentary elections now behind it, the Russian government will maintain its pressure campaign against Big Tech, threatening companies to coerce them into compliance while diluting their influence with domestic analogs in the coming years. Last year, the Kremlin launched a crackdown on political dissent to prevent the September elections for the Russian State Duma from resulting in opposition victories or mass protests. As the crackdown sought to narrow permitted political speech and information accessible in Russia, one of the focal points of the campaign became U.S.-based “Big Tech” companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, as well as other smaller tech companies. Russian independent media and political activists rely on these platforms to spread their message and demand more democratic governance in Russia, which the regime views as a threat. Moscow envisions sufficiently pliable domestic entities -- such as Russia’s large tech conglomerates like Yandex, VK, and Sber
On GeopoliticsSep 2, 2021 | 16:56 GMT
Cyber Diplomacy Arrives at Another Fork in the Road
My colleague recently wrote that ransomware has so far undoubtedly been the “defining cyber threat” of 2021. I agree with that assessment, given the onslaught of major ransomware attacks we’ve seen this year. But it’s also important to note that there’s been meaningful progress in U.N. negotiations on cyberspace -- much to the surprise of many observers, including myself.  In March, the Russia-backed Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) reached a cybersecurity agreement reaffirming 11 non-binding norms for state-sponsored cyber activity. And then two months later, the U.S.-backed Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) followed suit. That said, fundamental differences in opinions and priorities between countries remain on what kind of cyber activities should be regulated and how. The diplomatic path forward for future rounds of international negotiations is also unclear, with the United States wanting to enforce current U.N. agreements as Russia proposes more. Thus, despite the progress seen so far this year, the
AssessmentsJul 27, 2021 | 21:03 GMT
The Intel logo is displayed outside of the company’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California.
How Intel’s New Roadmap Aligns With U.S. Chip Ambitions
Intel’s new roadmap to catch up with its Asian competitors by 2025 will prove critical in rebuilding the United States’ chip manufacturing capabilities in the increasingly crucial semiconductor industry. On July 26, the California-based company’s CEO Pat Gelsinger unveiled the ambitious roadmap, which aims to regain semiconductor dominance within the next five years. Gelsinger also announced that Amazon and Qualcomm would be Intel’s first two major clients for its new Intel Foundry Services, which aims to build high-end semiconductors designed by other companies and compete with foundry juggernaut Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). 
On SecurityJul 9, 2021 | 10:00 GMT
Crime and Technology, Part II: Criminal Marketplaces
In part two of this three-part series on crime and technology, we explore the illicit uses of online marketplaces. Criminals have always relied on markets to do business, but thanks to the internet, those markets are no longer bound to the physical world. While online criminal marketplaces have proven to be particularly successful in the retail drug trade, their ability to support cybercriminal hacking groups could prove to be far more disruptive. 
GuidanceJul 8, 2021 | 19:57 GMT
Italy’s top foreign policy officials attend a G-20 joint session on June 29, 2021.
Competing G-20 Interests Risk Hindering a Global Tax Deal
Competing interests between the European Union, the United States and emerging economies could prevent Group of 20 (G-20) countries from reaching a deal on a global tax overhaul. This would deprive governments of much-needed resources to cope with the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic by discouraging corporate tax shifting. G-20 finance ministers will meet in Venice on July 9-10 to discuss a draft global tax deal agreed to in principle by 130 countries on July 1, with the aim of completing it by the G-20 summit in October. At stake is up to about $200 billion a year in potential lost tax revenues from not passing the deal at a time when governments worldwide are facing large post-pandemic budget deficits and rising public debt, as well as renewed tensions caused by mainly U.S.-based multinational tech companies not paying taxes on digital services sold abroad.
GuidanceJun 16, 2021 | 17:33 GMT
Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a 2015 meeting with EU leaders in Brussels, Belgium.
Despite New Deals, EU-U.S. Tech Tensions Remain
The United States and the European Union are trying to present a united front against both China and Big Tech, but key differences on issues like data privacy will complicate efforts to find a unified position on technology-related issues. The European Union and the United States announced the establishment of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on June 15 to coordinate their efforts during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Brussels. Both sides also agreed to establish the U.S.-EU Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue, which aims to coordinate issues relating to antitrust and competition policy. 
SITUATION REPORTApr 26, 2021 | 21:15 GMT
Brazil: Government Slashes Environment Budget One Day After Climate Summit Pledge
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro approved a 24% cut to environmental spending in the country’s 2021 federal budget on April 24, just one day after Environment Minister Ricardo Salles promised to double Brazil’s environmental protection budget during the virtual climate summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, Deutsche Welle has reported.
SITUATION REPORTApr 14, 2021 | 20:57 GMT
U.S., Brazil: Rainforest Protection Talks Stall Ahead of Biden’s Climate Summit
The United States reportedly considers President Joe Biden’s upcoming Climate Leaders Summit as the last chance for Brazil to restore confidence in its rainforest protection efforts and expand its relations with the White House, Folha de Sao Paulo reported April 13, citing a statement made by the U.S. ambassador to Brazil.
AssessmentsFeb 24, 2021 | 22:33 GMT
A picture taken in London on Dec. 18, 2020, shows the logos of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft displayed on a mobile phone and laptop screen.
With Democrats in Power, the U.S. Push Against Big Tech Grows
As momentum builds in the United States for landmark antitrust legislation and lawsuits on Big Tech companies, potential changes to U.S. mergers law and limits on growth avenues for large tech firms like Google could impact U.S. dominance in the global tech space, increasing competition with Chinese and European firms. On Feb. 4, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the new chair of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, introduced a new bill aimed at updating the United States’ antitrust laws. The so-called Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act (CALERA) proposes giving more resources to antitrust investigators, as well as rewriting the way that mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are reviewed over antitrust concerns. Although it has not yet been presented to U.S. President Joe Biden, the draft bill does give hints about how the new Democratic-led government could treat antitrust law reforms and tackle Big Tech.
SnapshotsJan 21, 2021 | 22:07 GMT
Spanish newspapers show images of newly sworn-in U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 21, 2021, in Madrid, Spain.
The EU Welcomes Biden, But Some Disputes Will Remain
Joe Biden’s presidency portends greater U.S.-EU coordination on areas like climate change, COVID-19 and human rights. But Washington and Brussels will likely still spar over trade, tech policy and defense spending. On the day of Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, European Council President Charles Michel called for a “founding pact” between the United States and the European Union based on five priorities: boosting multilateral cooperation, fighting against COVID-19, tackling climate change, rebuilding the global economy with a digital transformation, and joining forces on security and peace. Also on Jan. 20, the European Union’s chief diplomat, Joseph Borrell, invited Biden’s new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to a meeting with EU foreign ministers in Lisbon, Portugal, on March 4-5 to restart cooperation.
PodcastsJan 19, 2021 | 15:54 GMT
Essential Geopolitics: Biden, Tech and Antitrust
In this podcast, we discuss what happens to tech companies now they have banned President Trump either temporarily or indefinitely on several social media sites. Meanwhile, Parler, a popular social media platform for right-wing groups and Trump supporters, was blocked from Google, Apple and Amazon's app stores.
AssessmentsDec 23, 2020 | 15:59 GMT
EU flags fly outside the European Commission building in Brussels on Dec. 7, 2020.
The EU Seeks to Update Its Regulation of Big Tech
Sweeping new EU draft rules will increase the pressure on large tech companies, but debates over their proposed requirements and penalties will likely limit their impact on big tech. The legislation's ultimate fate depends in part on how the European Union frames the proposals to the incoming Biden administration because its receptivity to rules that disproportionately affect U.S. firms could prove decisive to their implementation.