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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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Biden’s executive order cracks down on Big Tech and protects consumers

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses tech policy in the United States and the new White House executive order with no less than 72 competition enhancing measures.

How will Biden's executive order crack down on big tech?

The answer is in almost every way. The order clearly seeks stronger antitrust enforcement with specific provisions on data and the impact of its assembling on privacy. The order asks for new rules on surveillance from the FTC but will also allow for assessments of not only future but also past mergers. And that is important because the very wealthy, very powerful tech companies are known to buy up competitors that they may fear, and through those mergers grow their data piles. So, the executive order must cause concern in Silicon Valley. The order goes on to restore net neutrality, which is crucial for smaller companies and noncommercial websites. And the position of consumers improves with the possibility to have products repaired or to see others doing that, which is a practice that is often banned today. So once these various measures are in place, the public interest, innovation, consumer rights, and privacy protection should be better safeguarded from abuse of power by big tech.

Will China's tech sector be held back?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here, and a happy post-4th of July. Spending a couple of days in Nantucket, back to New York in relatively short order. But a Quick Take to kick off your shortened week.

And I thought I would talk a little bit about what's happening between the Chinese and the Americans on tech. In particular, I think it's quite important that the Chinese government and their regulatory authority on cyberspace, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the CAC, has been focusing a cybersecurity probe on Chinese companies that have recently listed in the United States. It started last Friday with Didi, which is the leader for Chinese ride hailing. So it's basically like Uber or Lyft in China, $4 billion IPO in New York just a couple of days before the Chinese government announced that they were going to engage in serious scrutiny and regulation of the company. Their stock value went down like 20% almost immediately on the back of that.

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Democrats and Republicans unite! At least against China.

This week, the US Senate passed the so-called Endless Frontier Act, a $250 billion investment in development of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, the manufacture of semiconductors, and other tech-related sectors. The goal is to harness the combined power of America's public and private sectors to meet the tech challenges posed by China.

In its current form, this is the biggest diversion of public funds into the private sector to achieve strategic goals in many decades. The details of this package, and of the Senate vote, say a lot about US foreign-policy priorities and this bill's chances of becoming law.

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Is the US military investing in the wrong kinds of weapons?

In comparing the American military defense spending to China's, former US admiral and best-selling author James Stavridis is concerned that the US is too focused on legacy systems. In a conversation with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, he discusses the role of the private sector in the development of US defense capabilities and the need to move towards higher end technologies, which he says China has already done. "They get to make decisions and move out with big land armies, tanks, aircraft carriers in ways we are retarded from doing by the messiness, as wonderful as it is, of our democratic system," Stavridis points out.

Watch the episode: What could spark a US-China war?

Multinational corporations aren't about to give up on global business

An op-ed in the Financial Times argues that the era of borderless enterprise may be past, thanks to rising geopolitical tensions between the US and China. In "Geopolitics spells the demise of the global chief executive," Elisabeth Braw writes that the nationalities of companies and their chief executives now matter again and their ability to pursue a truly global business strategy will be limited. But has the situation actually changed? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to explain that nationalities have always mattered, and many of these risks aren't new.

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Taiwan’s outsize importance in manufacturing semiconductor chips

A big reason the Chinese leader is pushing harder than ever to annex Taiwan is actually quite small. The self-governing island has an outsize manufacturing capacity for semiconductors – the little chips that bind the electrical circuits we use in our daily lives. Cell phones, laptops, modern cars, and even airplanes all rely on these tiny computer wafers. Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC alone makes more than half of the chips outsourced by all foreign companies, which means your iPhone likely runs on Taiwanese-made semiconductors. What would happen to the world's semiconductor chips if China were to take control of Taiwan?

Watch the episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: What could spark a US-China war?

Is the US military’s reliance on technology a vulnerability?

What happens to US defense systems in case of a cyber attack? "The American military needs a Plan B, because these exquisite systems upon which we have come to rely so deeply, because they were invulnerable fighting the Taliban, or fighting Al-Qaeda, they're not invulnerable anymore," argues Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), who also served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander. He discusses the benefit of having analog alternatives for US military operations in a discussion with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: What could spark a US-China war?

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