Australian news war escalation

It looks like Australia is going forward with their ridiculous news law (“If Australia doesn’t get their act together, they may lose all news”, newsletter #44). It passed their House of Representatives this week, and looks set to pass the Senate. It’s perfectly reasonable to have a discussion around how to save news; and it’s perfectly reasonable […]

The on-going game with China

Perhaps the biggest thing to happen last month was that the US declared China’s treatment of the Uighurs as genocide. To be honest, I don’t know how much freedom the US State Department has in making this sort of declaration. Was it something the State Department did independently? Or was it a last-minute poke at […]

What to make of the Parler shutdown

In the wake of the “assault” on the US Capitol (in quotation marks, because if you look at the video footage, it really seems a lot more like LARPing than an actual attempt at insurrection), everyone was all abuzz about how the social-media giants were handling Trump’s accounts (Twitter gave him a “permanent suspension” (I […]

China and the opportunity for Britain

This week saw more anti-democracy arrests in Hong Kong, Trump signing an executive order banning Ali pay (the Chinese PayPal) and seven other apps, and another executive order “blacklisting” 35 Chinese companies, which caused the SEC to flip-flop, but ultimately ended with the NYSE deciding to delist three Chinese telecoms. On the other side of the Atlantic, after 35 […]

“Afghan lives matter!”

Make no mistake, the Chinese government does not do things by mistake. Trade tensions between the US and China have grown substantially during the Trump administration, but China has also been engaging in a bit of a trade war with Australia, with the latest move being a tariff imposed on Australia’s wine — for which China is the […]

The future of free trade

For all that Donald Trump is a buffoon, he had some big successes (from a U.S. point of view), particularly with regard to international trade. His renegotiation of NAFTA is almost certainly an improvement, and his hard stance on trade with China was a long time coming. That said, he made a number of strategic […]

Privacy, Profit, and Tech Regulation

Every country is going to regulate tech —and they’re not going to do it in the same way the US is; nor do they necessarily care what the US does. The EU is well down this path, as I’ve written before. A lot of that regulation is about protecting user privacy. Apple announced a bunch of […]

The resurgence of national tech wars

It used to be the case that much of “high tech” was considered a national security issue. This wasn’t just about ballistic missiles and targeting software. Today, everyone has strong encryption, but through the 1990s, cryptographic software was considered “munitions”, and was strongly controlled. The same applied to microchips. With the collapse of the Soviet […]

What will a Biden presidency mean?

Although there are still some lawsuits to be settled, and several recounts to be done, it appears that Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (really), will be the 46th president of the United States. After four seismic years under Donald Trump, it will probably mean a lot. Although not entirely unmitigated, Obama’s presidency was largely a foreign-policy […]

Pan-European Cloud

Remember way back in February — before even COVID — when I wrote about this weird ideathe EU had about a “single data market”? Well, of all the possible ways they could have pursued this, it looks like they picked the dumbest of the dumb. Here are some tidbits. The Internal Market Commissioner for the EU, […]

China is becoming more communistic

I’ve written quite a bit about China’s international moves to expand their sphere and scope of influence, and about the US’s and EU’s response — and all of that is certainly of global economic import; but this week China made a really interesting internal move. Remember, China is the second largest economy in the world […]

Belarus playing out as predicted

As I discussed back in mid-August, the legitimacy and continuation of Lukashenko’s strong-man hold on Belarus could include a closer relationship with, and consequent help from, Russia — but only if Lukashenko made his request much more clear and public. Last week, Russia’s Prime Minister visited Belarus, and said that Moscow was willing to send “police” to […]