International Scramble For Power

Grind for December 3rd, 2018
“Delay is preferable to error.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Another One Bites The Dust

The Headline

Italy to let parliament make decision on UN migration pact

The Grind

Italy’s populist government this week announced it would not be signing the UN’s controversial agreement on global migration, instead putting the matter to parliament for lawmakers to decide.

“[The UN pact] is a document that raises issues and questions that many citizens have strong feelings about,” said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. “Therefore, we consider it right to put the debate in parliament and subject any final decision on the outcome of that debate, as Switzerland has done.”

The Details

The UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration outlines 23 objectives designed to facilitate safe and efficient migration while reducing human smuggling and trafficking.

The agreement comes at a time when roughly 3% of the world’s population is on the move.

As stated on the UN website, the agreement “forms a basis to improve governance and international understanding of migration, to address the challenges associated with migration today, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.”

Opponents say the pact essentially legalizes illegal immigration and threatens nations’ sovereignty.

Nearly 200 countries agreed on the document in July following more than a year of negotiations. The document will be formally adopted and signed later this month at a conference in Morocco.

The pact is not legally binding.

Nations that have decided to reject the agreement include: the United States, Israel, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Australia.

The UN pact is a horrible idea, and those who adhere to it will watch as the arrival of migrants and refugees leads to the erosion of culture, safety, and economic progress. Thankfully this is happening under Trump and not Obama, who probably would have signed it.

One Step Closer

The Headline

Chinese government forces Tesla to hand over driver data

The Grind

As reported on Thursday, the Chinese government is requiring all-electric vehicle makers to provide constant updates on their vehicles.

EV makers must share 61 data points, including the real-time location of each vehicle.

According to Beijing, this data helps it plan infrastructure, make improvements to public safety, and keep an eye out for fraud. Critics insist the program is another form of surveillance.

As surveillance expert Michael Chertoff points out, EV makers should think twice before selling cars in China:

“If what you’re doing is giving a government of a more authoritarian country the tools to have massive surveillance, I think then companies have to ask themselves, ‘Is this really something we want to do in terms of our corporate values, even if it means otherwise forgoing that market?'”The Implication

China’s laws for EV makers are similar to rules requiring US tech companies operating in China to provide Beijing with information on their users (this is one of many reasons Trump has pressured the country with sanctions).

Such laws are in line with the Chinese government’s attempt to gain complete control over its population and to emerge as the global leader in technology.

With access to databases belonging to Tencent, Apple, Alibaba, and now EV makers, the Chinese government has unprecedented access to the personal information of billions of people.

The Chinese government also keeps an eye on its citizens using millions of CCTV cameras and through its infiltration of social media and messaging apps.

According to Tesla owner Min Zeren, the constant surveillance is just part of living in China. “It’s useless to be concerned about it,” says Zeren. “If you’re concerned about it, then there’s no way to live in this country.”

Did you know… If you’re one in a million, there are about 7,234 people just like you.