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How will the global corporate tax deal impact tech companies?

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Will the OECD-brokered global corporate tax deal make a difference?

Well, it should, at least in two years, once it is adopted by the 136 countries that have now agreed to it. Once enforced, a minimum contribution would see approximately $125 billion flowing to public purses where it doesn't today. It would make it harder for countries to be tax havens or to be part of this race to the bottom when it comes to tax rates. It puts a limit on competition between countries but that is still possible. Now, public scrutiny over the corporate sector has intensified over the past years and with a whole host of issues like health care, climate change, and infrastructure begging for better solutions, there is a need for fair taxation that is widely supported, both publicly and now also politically.

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An economic historian's biggest lesson learned from the pandemic so far

For economic historian Adam Tooze, the biggest lesson learned from COVID so far is we need to invest in a tech-driven science apparatus as insurance against a future similar public health crisis that can kill millions and wipe out 20 percent of GDP in just months, a risk we didn't take seriously enough. "We do have a magic wand, we do have the silver bullet, and we should be doubling down on that." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: How the COVID-damaged economy surprised Adam Tooze

Want Africa to grow? Get people and businesses online: Africa expert

There's a big opportunity for African countries to take advantage of the pandemic — if they can get online. "Greater internet connectivity can accelerate growth in tremendous ways," says Eurasia Group's top Africa analyst Amaka Anku. One of them would be formalizing the informal sector, which is very large and hard to tax: "It's much easier if people are paying using digital payments," she explains, but governments also need to do their part by cutting red tape to encourage investment.

Anku weighed in during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the 76th UN General Assembly.

Learn more: Should internet be free for everyone? A Global Stage debate

How can we bridge the "digital Grand Canyon"?

The UN likes to say that having half the world's population offline is like a "digital Grand Canyon" of exclusion. So, how can we bridge it? The International Communications Union's Doreen Bogdan-Martin says that the only way is to get all concerned parties — the UN, governments, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society — to work together. "No one can do this alone. We need all hands on deck."

Bogdan-Martin weighed in during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the 76th UN General Assembly.

Learn more: Should internet be free for everyone? A Global Stage debate

Make internet affordable, but not free for all

Free internet for everyone sounds great, but what's really important is for it to be accessible, says Vickie Robinson, head of Microsoft's Airband Initiative to expand broadband access throughout the developing world. The problem, she explains, is that it costs money to build and maintain networks, so no costs for end users could have unintended consequences. "If you have a framework in which the internet is free for all, do we lose some freedoms? Do we lose innovation? Do we lose the use of the internet as a tool for empowerment?" Instead, Robinson would focus only on giving access to people who really need it and can't afford to be online.
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We'll never fix America's internet without measuring access properly, says FCC chair

Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chair of the US Federal Communications Commission, says mapping the real state of America's broadband access is flawed because a single subscriber in a rural area doesn't mean everyone is online. "You don't have to be a data maven to understand that that likely overstates service," she notes, and underscores the need to develop more accurate systems. "We're never going to manage the problems we don't measure."

Rosenworcel weighed in during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the 76th UN General Assembly.

Learn more: Should internet be free for everyone? A Global Stage debate

China's tech crackdown leads to huge losses; Citizen app controversy

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

How will China's tech crackdown affect the rest of the world?

Well, investors in the US, but also globally were not amused with Beijing's policy decisions coming right after DiDi's IPO and leading to huge losses. Overseas listings are now directly targeted in moves that are being defended as being based on national security, kind of sounds familiar, but the value of Chinese tech stock all over the world is dropping. But still, many continue to view the relationship between Chinese-based companies and the state as symbiotic. So if nothing else, recent moves certainly show that Chinese decision-makers want to keep their grip on anything that happens in the country, very firm.

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Cuba internet censorship amid protests; pressure grows against Huawei

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Cuba has curbed access to messaging apps amid protests. How controlled and censored is Cuba's internet?

Well, any debate and criticism is tightly controlled in Cuba, including through information, monitoring and monopoly. But activists such as blogger Yoani Sánchez have always been brave in defying repression and making sure that messages of Cubans reached others online across the world. Now mobile internet has become accessible to Cubans since about two years, but accessing it remains incredibly expensive. But the fact that the regime in Cuba once again seeks to censor people through shutting down internet services actually shows it is its Achilles' heel. As Yoani has said, the Castros have lost the internet.

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