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Iran's Ahmad Noorollahi, Sadegh Moharrami, and Alireza Jahanbakhsh line up during the national anthems before the World Cup match against England.

REUTERS/Marko Djurica

What We're Watching: Iran's silent anthem, Russia's tech brain drain

Iran’s Kurds rise up, soccer squad goes silent

Even as widespread anti-government protests over democracy and women’s rights continue across Iran, things are getting particularly dicey in Kurdish-majority areas along the northwestern border with Iraq. Iran’s revolutionary guards have not only cracked down on the protests in the city of Mahabad, but they also reportedly sent missiles across the border into Kurdish areas of Iraq for good measure. Kurdish groups have struggled for independence from Iran for more than a century, and Mahabad is hugely symbolic — it was the capital of a short-lived independent Kurdish state in the 1940s. Meanwhile, the broader anti-government protests continue to get high-level sympathizers. Two prominent female actors who removed their headscarves publicly in solidarity were arrested over the weekend. Then, on Monday, Iranian footballers stunningly refused to sing Iran’s national anthem ahead of their opening World Cup match in Qatar as a show of support for the protests back home.

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Whistleblowers & How to Activate A New Era of Digital Accountability | Full Interview | GZERO World

Whistleblowers & how to activate a new era of digital accountability

Frances Haugen famously blew the whistle against her then-employer, Facebook. She says we must recognize that the gap between fast-changing tech and slow-moving governments will continue to widen, and the best way to narrow it, is to encourage people to speak out against questionable practices. These whistleblowers need better laws to protect them, she tells Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview.

Despite all of this, Haugen still has hope that the corporate culture inside tech companies can change for the better. The role of social media companies in politics is still growing, and now the failures of social media companies can have life-or-death consequences.

Haugen suggests that governments need to rethink how they regulate social media companies, and hold them more accountable for the consequences of their actions.

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Dirty Lobbying Practices by Tech Companies Pose Danger to Public | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Meta's moves to malign TikTok reveal common dirty lobbying practices

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses dirty lobbying practices by the biggest tech companies.

Meta reportedly hired a GOP firm to malign TikTok. How dangerous is this move to the public?

Well, I think it is important that we know these kinds of dirty lobbying practices that apparently looked attractive and acceptable to Meta or Facebook. It seems like a desperate effort to polish a tarnished image of the company and they must have thought that offense is the best defense. But generally, the public, the audience, readers of the news have no way of knowing which stories have been planted or that they are planted in media at all. And I think the fact that this is a common practice is revealing and cynical. But the problem is that for many of the biggest tech companies all kinds of lobbying, sponsoring, influencing has become accessible in ways that very few can compete with, they just have a lot of money to spend. I was surprised to hear, for example, that WhatsApp's lead, Will Cathcart, claimed this week that his company was not heard by European legislators when it came to the Digital Markets Act while a public consultation was held. And Meta, which owns WhatsApp, spent 5.5 million euros on lobbying in Brussels last year. So I'm pretty sure they did have an opportunity to engage.

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Ukrainians In the IT Industry ... During War | GZERO World

Ukrainians in the tech industry ... during war

You are more dependent on Ukrainians than you may realize. Every time you use a ride hailing app, order food with your phone, or even just send an email — there’s a good chance you’ve used software designed or maintained by someone in the country. In fact, as you read these words, you are depending on the work of coders from Kyiv.

That’s because over the past 10 years Ukraine has become one of the leading sources of talent and outsourcing in IT and software development. On the eve of Russia’s invasion, there were close to 300,000 IT specialists in the country, according to a local IT association.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: EU semiconductors, Ortega vs students, Taiwan missile defense upgrade, US mask mandates, TikToking at 92

48 billion: The EU plans to spend $48 billion to become a major chipmaking hub in response to the global semiconductor shortage. The US also wants to produce more homegrown semiconductors and reduce its dependency on Asian suppliers.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: US low on chips, Egypt buys US arms, snow in Athens, Mexican remittances

5: US manufacturers now have on average less than five days' worth of semiconductor supplies, down from 40 days before the pandemic. There's growing pressure for America to produce more chips as a global shortage drags on.

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Podcast: We have to control AI before it controls us, warns former Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Listen: Tech companies set the rules for the digital world through algorithms powered by artificial intelligence. But does Big Tech really understand AI? Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells Ian Bremmer that we need to control AI before it controls us.

What's troubling about AI, he says, is that it’s still very new, and AI is learning by doing. Schmidt, co-author of “The Age of AI: And Our Human Future,” worries that AI exacerbates problems like anxiety, driving a human addiction cycle that leads to depression.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

The Technopolar World: A New Dimension of Geopolitics | Top Risks 2022 | GZERO Media

The technopolar world: A new dimension of geopolitics — Kevin Allison

Kevin Allison, director of geotech at Eurasia Group, is concerned about the rise of very powerful tech companies disrupting centuries of geopolitics led by the nation-state.

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