Thursday, November 17, 2022

Data Cartels The Companies That Control and Monopolize Our Information

The Swiss National Bank Began Unloading its Biggest US Stock Holdings, incl. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta Wolf Richter. It’s nuts for a central bank to buy stock, worst of all foreign stocks, with the exception of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, now the Saudi Central Bank, which also acts as a sovereign wealth fund and winds up holding lots of foreign currency positions due to the Kingdom being a big exporter.

Gizmodo: “Amazon, one of the first companies to join the prestigious $1 trillion dollar valuation club, just passed another, admittedly less desirable milestone. This week, Jeff Bezos’ Everything Store became the first publicly traded company to lose $1 tillion in market valuation. 

The mind boggling figures, first noted by Bloomberg, are the results of a worsening economy, repeatedly dour earnings reports, and massive stock selloffs. Amazon, valued at $1.882 trillion on June 21, on Thursday reported a comparatively measly $878 billion valuation. 

Microsoft, which briefly surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company last year, wasn’t far behind, with market valuation losses hovering around $900 billion. Combined, the two companies’ declines capture the effect of a lousy year most in tech would like to soon forget.”

Christine Kim (Cardozo; Google Scholar) presented Tax Harmony: The Promise and Pitfalls of the Global Minimum Tax, 43 Mich. J. Int'l L.  (2022) (with Reuven S. Avi-Yonah(Michigan; Google Scholar)) at Oxford yesterday as part of its International Tax Governance and Justice Series hosted by Tsilly Dagan, Ana Paula Dourado, and Cees Peters

 Reuse DC is the District’s hub for learning where to repair, donate, and shop second-hand household items. Search the online directory, explore how to exchange items with your neighbors, learn about the importance of food recovery, and more!”

Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role WaPo. No, not AWS

Government Surveillance at 2022 U.N. Climate Conference

Gambling in Casablanca! Spying in Sharm el-Sheikh, at the COP27 conference! Who’d have thunk it?

War crimes whistleblower McBride faces life sentence: Must watch interview!

Last week, the moral fibre of Australia’s political and judicial system was put to its latest test when war crimes whistleblower David McBride was put on trial. He faces up to 50 years in prison. Watch McBride tell his remarkable story here. 

Environment: Cherish old trees, rivers and birds

The world’s old trees, Australia’s rivers and the USA’s birds are in decline. The cause is the same everywhere – failing to respect nature. 

UK Announces Initial Steps For National Digital Identities Forbes


Government loses 18-month fight to keep ‘Covid lessons learnt’ review secret OpenDemocracy

John Inazu (Washington University; Google Scholar), Is it Time for Pandemic Forgiveness?:

Tutu 4Earlier this week, Emily Oster caused quite a stir with an Atlantic essay titled “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty.” As Oster noted, the uncertainty and frenzy in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that people took different sides on almost every conceivable policy response. ... Oster noted that those who ended up being right “may want to gloat” while those who got it wrong “may feel defensive and retrench into a position that doesn’t accord with the facts.” She suggested instead that we forgive each other and work on solving the social problems highlighted and created by COVID and the responses to it.

 Data Cartels The Companies That Control and Monopolize Our InformationSarah Lamdan is Professor of Law at the City University of New York School of Law: “In our digital world, data is power. Information hoarding businesses reign supreme, using intimidation, aggression, and force to maintain influence and control. Sarah Lamdan brings us into the unregulated underworld of these “data cartels”, demonstrating how the entities mining, commodifying, and selling our data and informational resources perpetuate social inequalities and threaten the democratic sharing of knowledge. 

Just a few companies dominate most of our critical informational resources. Often self-identifying as “data analytics” or “business solutions” operations, they supply the digital lifeblood that flows through the circulatory system of the internet. With their control over data, they can prevent the free flow of information, masterfully exploiting outdated information and privacy laws and curating online information in a way that amplifies digital racism and targets marginalized communities. They can also distribute private information to predatory entities. Alarmingly, everything they’re doing is perfectly legal…”

Washington Post: “An offshore company that is trusted by the major web browsers and other tech companies to vouch for the legitimacy of websites has connections to contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement, according to security researchers, documents and interviews. Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, nonprofit Firefox and others allow the company, TrustCor Systems, to act as what’s known as a root certificate authority, a powerful spot in the internet’s infrastructure that guarantees websites are not fake, guiding users to them seamlessly. The company’s Panamanian registration records show that it has the identical slate of officers, agents and partners as a spyware maker identified this year as an affiliate of Arizona-based Packet Forensics, which public contracting records and company documents show has sold communication interception services to U.S. government agencies for more than a decade.”

Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role Washington’s Pos

HOW… INTERESTING:  Chinese government operates police stations on US soil

And Tilting at Windmills is on the last day of its subscription sale