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Economics North America Technology and infrastructure

Supply Chain Volatility in the Automobile Industry

Vehicle production is taking a toll due to the ongoing computer chip shortage. According to a report by Goldman Sachs and forecasts by advisory experts, they predict the shortfall to persist throughout the rest of 2021, into 2022, and 2023, since demand will remain strong and supply will remain restricted.

Africa Technology and infrastructure

African Aviation: Ready for Take Off Once Again

The African aviation industry, like its counterparts around the world, has endured a tumultuous pandemic. Losses in revenue and traffic, as well as uncertainty about future prospects, have pushed some airlines to the brink of collapse and beyond. Yet, other operators have seized the opportunities presented, and the sector’s ambitions have never been higher.

China Politics Technology and infrastructure

Technological pull or competitive drive? China’s rover landing sends a message to the United States

On Friday 14th May, China’s Zhurong rover landed on Mars, becoming the first Chinese spacecraft to do so and only the second nation, behind the US, to land a spacecraft successfully on Mars. China hopes their Zhurong rover will give them 90 days of service as it studies the surface of the planet, collecting samples and data. This is an historic moment for China, as they demonstrate yet another arena where they can compete against and match the US. This follows their recent launch of the initial part of China’s first permanent space station, as they push to become technological leaders in a world where technology has become sovereign.

Asia Pacific Technology and infrastructure

Southeast Asia’s wave of internet regulation comes to Indonesia

Indonesia’s new internet regulation requires platforms to remove ‘prohibited’ content—defined as anything violating Indonesian law, disturbing public order, or inciting unrest—within twenty-four hours. The government insists the law is needed to combat disinformation and avoid the destabilizing effects of ‘fake news’. But critics worry it may be a ploy to silence online dissent. The law aligns Indonesia with Southeast Asia’s trend of increased internet regulation. How online platforms react will determine regional internet developments.

Covid-19 International Technology and infrastructure

Covid-19: Cyberattacks on the Healthcare System

The digitalization of the healthcare system brings more challenges than anticipated. One of those challenges are cyberattacks, which have been classified as low priority threats. Now during a worldwide pandemic, the healthcare system has never been so necessary. However, it has also made the healthcare sector more vulnerable, which has attracted cyberattacks in growing numbers. Awareness is needed to attract investments and take actions into creating a more resilient digitalized healthcare sector.

India Technology and infrastructure

Geopolitics of India’s Data Protection

India’s data protection policy lays emphasis to the Right to Privacy and sovereignty of its citizens. The first data protection bill proposed in 2018 provided a definitive structure to the various aspects of data management. It is based on the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This policy concerns data localisation, i.e., the legal requirement for data to be stored within national borders. A country’s policies regarding data greatly impact the technology sectors which possess a majority of the data. This first bill incorporated stringent measures regarding data localisation which required companies to mirror the data and store a copy in India. After receiving criticism, the revised bill passed in 2019 removed the data mirroring requirement.

Africa Technology and infrastructure

Fake News, Soft Authoritarianism and Challenges to Digital Democracy in Africa

On 27 December 2020, voters headed to the polls across the Central African Republic, one of the continent’s most fragile democracies. The elections were overshadowed by violence as covert disinformation campaigns, waged from Paris and Moscow, sought to inflame communal tensions across the fractured country. Facebook subsequently released a statement, claiming that the platform had removed multiple networks of ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ traced back to the French and Russian militaries whose influence extended far beyond the Central African Republic, encompassing over a dozen African countries, from Algeria to Cameroon. However, this latest incident represents merely the tip of the iceberg of the far more pervasive and increasingly widespread challenge posed by the proliferation of digital media across the continent’s fledgling democracies.  

Politics Technology and infrastructure

The United States, Section 230, and Big Tech

There has been increasing bipartisan scrutiny over how to regulate Big Tech, and one prominent issue is whether to repeal Section 230 which gives social media companies sweeping immunity over the content published on their sites. With growing pressure to mitigate the risks posed by social media, it is worth considering why Section 230 is important, the risks associated with the repeal, and the likelihood something will happen in the new administration.

Asia Pacific Technology and infrastructure

A Neglected Frontier: Challenges to Japan’s Cyber Security

2020’s SolarWinds cyberattack, which affected numerous US government agencies, underscores the growing relevance of IT security and cyber-crime to national governments. Not solely the work of individual criminals, crimes perpetrated by state-sponsored or entirely state-operated hacker groups have increasingly been alleged. With cyberspace growing in importance as a frontier of political contestation, states must act; what steps has Japan been taking, and what barriers are there to enhancing Japan’s cybersecurity?

Europe Technology and infrastructure

UK Government Announces New National Cyber Force

Recently, the UK government announced its plans to take more offensive steps in its approach to cybersecurity. The announcement is further evidence of a gradually emerging trend exhibited by nation states: an increasing openness about their offensive cyber operations. This behaviour is likely to become the norm as many of the motivators for such an offensive stance — hybrid warfare, cyber espionage, and disinformation campaigns –only continue to grow.