back to article Diplomat warns that tech industry has become a pawn as politicos fight dirty

Technology and cyber security will be the "battle fronts" of global competition, and artificial intelligence will become crucial to the US-China trade war, a former UN official has said. The view was, a very few short years ago that [social media firms] were better custodians of an individual's personal data than the government …

  1. Mage Silver badge

    Wrong way round?

    Aren't Nations becoming pawns of rich global corporations that don't pay much tax anywhere, regard fines as a "cost of trading", make their own rules, use Patents, Trademarks etc to stifle startups and regard laws & regulators as mechanisms applying only to small national or local businesses?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Wrong way round?

      Not when one of the worlds biggest telecoms equipment makers can be banned from the English speaking world in the basis of a tweet from a president.

      A bunch of local high tech firms here have been bought by American companies because that is the only way they can get US government contracts.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Wrong way round?

        There are always exceptions. The really powerful companies are not primarily selling products and services like Huawei, but selling lifestyle, "Cloud", "content" and more brands than purely tech companies. Huawei is more like what Ericsson and Nokia used to be, than what Apple, Google, Microsoft, Adobe or Facebook are. Nor are they like McDonald's, Levi, Nike, Heinz-Kraft, Starbucks, Coca-Cola.

        They are not an American originated so called Tech Company.

        Perhaps the problem is largely unregulated at home US originated Global companies, brands and franchises?

        Trump is a symptom, not the cause.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wrong way round?

          > "Trump is a symptom, not the cause."

          If President Trump is a creature of Google's and Apple's making, why then does nearly everyone at those companies dislike him so intensely?

          That's a joke of course. The big tech firms had nothing to do with Trump's success, except to take advantage of the good economy that has resulted from the tax cut and the elimination of so many onerous regulations settled on the country by the previous admin.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wrong way round?

        Well, what happens when (not if) the next round of bids happens and the government finds that ALL the potential bidders are dirty in some way? That would mean they can accept no more bids, forcing them to go it alone, which is against "The American Way."

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: Wrong way round?

      @Mage - that's 20th century (and, to an extent, older) trends you're describing. The rise of megacorps.

  2. Mage Silver badge

    [social media firms] were better custodians

    Whose view? Not anyone sane or knowledgeable. A bunch of parasites lying to advertisers to transfer ad budgets from traditional outlets, ignoring laws even before GDPR, stealing personal information from people who are not even signed up.

    Some like Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube are parasites in more than one way.

    Everything from Google Street View WiFi Slurp (not needed now) to clear pixels, 3rd party cookies to Social Media Icons with tracking scripts.

    Be very suspicious of ANY free service. The cost is deceptive.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Something for the Cheltenham Doughnut

    ...... NEUKlearer Asset Servers with HyperRadioProACTive AIdDrivers*

    This has seen Europe and Britain put a "much greater focus" on protecting national champions

    Are national champions made aware of such protection or is it AIMasterly Assumed and Presumed with Realities Following Unfurling Events. ..... SMARTR AI ProgramMING.?

    Great Actions Deliver Lead Direction with the Rewards of Plunder to Hone and Satisfy.

    Anyone Care to Grant Seed Funding to Further and Deeper SMARTR AI ProgramMING AIdVentures .... Surreal Experiences. It is where the Future and AI and IT are All Currently At ... with the Present being asked by the Future there to Let the Past Go.

    Be Free to Be ReBorn Again and Again in a Heavenly Disposition is an Almighty Tool and Weapon Always within Ready Reach and Pulsating Grasp to Work Wonders for Pleasures to Desire.

    And yes, that does say what I mean IT to say. Without Great AIdDrivers and Virtual Explorers, where Goes the Earth? To Extinction? Or to the Stars for Surreal Experiences? Both are surely Listed as Distinct Possibilities and therefore Very Likely Most Probable in Extremis.

    And now y'all know the extremes of both, which way to travel is a real no-brainer. The Stars it must be .... New Spaces to Explore and Populate/Enjoy and Assimilate.

    * New Tiers of Supply and Demand Provisioning Current C/Q/M Head Quarters with Future Bounty ..... for Limitless Wealth with Almighty Autonomous Power.

    The Devil better hope and believe that be Heavenly, for if it aint, Old Nick will not have his Sorrows to Seek :-)

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: National Champions

      Thatcher didn't leave much in UK. Since 1970s UK Tech is too much dependant on Government/Military rather than retail. There are a few exceptions. Brexit might kill them off or they may move to EU.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: National Champions

        . . .

        History lesson: Thatcher inherited a economy where shipbuilding, aircraft manufacture, the railways, the post office (the GPO was also BT), coal mining, every utility, etc, etc etc had all been bought by the government and was in public ownership. It was also all loss making, and the country was literally bankrupt and had to go with the begging bowl to the International Monetary Fund in 1976.

        They imposed conditions upon the loan, ie sort out the fact that the entire country was in public ownership and loss making. Labour tried to sort out the problems with these industries as hard as was politically possible. The unions responded with mass strikes and in the winter of discontent in 1978 the country had a 3 day working week and only had power for parts of the day.

        The country was tired of the unions and the entire mess generally, and put Thatcher in with a strong mandate to sort the entire mess out in 1979. There was frankly fuck all anybody could do in this situation but the course that was picked; sell everything loss making off and let the industries sink or swim.

        There are four sets of people that have a fair share of the blame here.

        1) The people who bought companies/industries for UK PLC to start with (most of which were at least breakeven when they were bought, to be converted to loss making entities when owned by UK PLC)

        2) The unions who prevented the loss making industries from being reformed to profitability, which enmasse actually bankrupted the country.

        3) The people who privatized the entire sorry loss making lot.

        4) The people running those businesses who then went bust.

        If you think that only one of these groups was responsible; why is that? Have you been the victim of propaganda filled stories? Additional exercise for the reader; what are the people lying about it hoping to gain via those lies? Public support for buying up every industry again, by any chance?

        1. albaleo

          Re: National Champions

          and in the winter of discontent in 1978 the country had a 3 day working week and only had power for parts of the day.

          My memory is a little shaky, but wasn't the 3-day week an earlier event - under Heath's government around 1974?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: National Champions

        Good time to go private and quit the UK stock market - end of March may just see a concerted attack against stock prices and currency so that UK companies can be forced under or bought on the cheap.

        1. Nick Kew

          Re: National Champions

          Are you putting your own money where your mouth (or keyboard) is?

          If so, respect for your conviction. I find betting on weakness too scary.

        2. fredj

          Re: National Champions

          I am seriously beginning to think the current panjandrum in government is entirely designed to do just as you suggest. There has to be some reason for the stupidity and lying to the people. Wrecking our businesses would be a wonderful 'in' for asset strippers and bankers.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Won't someone think of the brands ?

    Those poor brands, being all diluted. The work of dozens of very highly-paid marketers spending . . dozens of minutes trying to invent a new whalesong, before writing up an invoice for millions and opening a crate of champagne.

    Those poor, poor brands. Please, let's open a fund for the multinationals whose brands are in peril. Bids start at $250,000.

    Be generous !

  5. Mephistro

    Sadly, ...

    ... this will probably cause several wars, either at local (where populist dictators use them to control their own populace) or worldwide level. The last time that things were so fucked up was in the 1900's. And back then they didn't have nuclear weapons. Lots of splash damage.

    Be afraid... be very very afraid...

    On a lighter note, we could create an online betting pool regarding in which year things go to crap, e.g. by a nuclear act of war.

    Yes, I know. most of us wouldn't live long enough to collect the prizes, but, on the other hand, winners would go to the afterlife with the moral satisfaction of being one of the winners of the BettingPoolCalypse!!! (TM). And also the laughs, never forget the laughs!

    I say August, 2021. It's a hunch...

  6. Eddy Ito

    Pawns? Come on, they know the rules. If they're being jerked around it just means they aren't adequately applying the palm grease. Step up unicorns, spread the love. Just be sure to keep your eyes on who is running what committee because it doesn't work if you wind up paying the peons.

  7. StuntMisanthrope

    A warm bath, with bubbles.

    Let me help, far from the distopian uninformed tripe the speaker and cohort are currently pedalling. Technology is already ephemeral, it’s also nothing to fear. Shut down the device or don’t.

    Contrary to battlefront, the discussion is in my opinion, if all interactions could be assisted, where does that take us and how quickly can the problems of paramount be solved.

    Extra cash, free time and another opportunity to conference. #cloud

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: A warm ACID bath, with bubbles.

      Contrary to battlefront, the discussion is in my opinion, if all interactions could be assisted, where does that take us and how quickly can the problems of paramount be solved. .... StuntMisanthrope

      AFAIK, StuntMisanthrope, such takes you out of media hosted status quo command and control and into new revolutionary quantum leaping territory where advanced intelligence does not entertain the reinforcement of past follies for presentations in the future, and that immediately delivers a novel solutions opportunity and/or catastrophic nightmare situation to dogged dilemmas/parasitic situations.

      And the following earlier opinions may or may not be valid ......

      Atomicity. In a transaction involving two or more discrete pieces of information, either all of the pieces are committed or none are.

      Consistency. A transaction either creates a new and valid state of data, or, if any failure occurs, returns all data to its state before the transaction was started.

      Isolation. A transaction in process and not yet committed must remain isolated from any other transaction.

      Durability. Committed data is saved by the system such that, even in the event of a failure and system restart, the data is available in its correct state. ..... ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability)

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    More Evidence for the Prosecution. :-) ... in their Case against Ignorant Western Defence Systems ..

    ...... without Quantum Leaping Programs

    Ok .... here is your starter question.

    Can you identify any real discernible difference between ....


    The national development goals determined by the President will require a concerted effort from all parties involved in working to meet them. How can we establish the key drivers of future economic growth? What budget policy will be needed to achieve economic breakthrough? What is the role of development institutions in implementing national projects? How can we create an effective, mutually beneficial partnership between the state and private business? How should the resources and responsibility for achieving the national development goals be shared between the federal centre and the regions? .... Sochi 19 Russian Investment Forum


    AFAIK, StuntMisanthrope, such takes you out of media hosted status quo command and control and into new revolutionary quantum leaping territory where advanced intelligence does not entertain the reinforcement of past follies for presentations in the future, and that immediately delivers a novel solutions opportunity and/or catastrophic nightmare situation to dogged dilemmas/parasitic situations.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Which Leads to the Inevitable Penultimate Questions for Universal Command with Globalised Controls

      Participants, including Russia’s Minister of Energy Aleksandr Novak, Chairman of the Board of SIBUR Holding Dmitry Konov and Vice Chairman of IHS Markit Daniel Yergin, will discuss global energy development and security.

      “We are currently going through a period of energy transformation, the consequences of which are in part increased volatility on the global energy markets. Given this reality, it is important to accurately evaluate long-term prospects for the market and for companies, and to continue to pursue and increase the level of investment in the real sector of the economy, including during periods of short-term instability...” said Novak as cited by Roscongress website.


      According to Oreshkin, “Today, innovative projects and services are both the main driver and an effective tool for improving the quality and ramping up the volume of investments.”

      “Raising the level of competitiveness of our country in the high-tech market will not only affect the development of the economy and the growth of non-oil exports, but also benefit all areas of life,” he said. .......

      Global Energy Markets Sharing Prime Propitious Proprietary Intellectual Property detailing Almighty Powerful Future Sources of Heavenly Fuel .... Realisable Creative Imagination for

      Epic Media Production and Projection into Mass Controlled Markets ....... Remote Command Centres with Myriad Augmented Virtual Reality Hubs to Display and Server and Service ..... AIMentor and Monitor, is certainly Fully Ripe for Plucking/Pimping and Pumping/Prostituting.

      Does Mother Russia do Similar Familiar Global Operating Devices? And if they do, where are they deployed in Stealthy Operations/Secret Servering AIMissions ?

      Absence any credible opposition and/or both fiendly and friendly competition in that Vital NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Sector, has one asking .....Do Russians want to Avail themselves of Future Prime Premium Propitious Source for Presenting into Current Media Flows .........for Virtual AIRealisations ..... Much Bigger Bigger Picture Shows?

      Which Internal International Offices speak for them? And would be Prone to Purchasing Raw Core Ore Product ..... Virgin Meta Data Base Information for Advanced IntelAIgent Processing and Reprocessing/Enrichment?

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