Sunday, January 11, 2015

the weaponization of finance - cloud technology a battlefield or prize?

Ian Bremmer
Not sure if I heard the term "weaponization of finance" before Ian Bremmer used it. But the concept surely resonates. Mr Bremmer tweets:

And he doubles down by noting that David Cohen is in line to become Deputy Director of the CIA:

One of my interests in security and cloud software has been the effect of the NSA revelations on US-based cloud and cloud technology providers, and specifically I've worried that there will be a backlash against US companies. But maybe the government, for better or worse, is ahead of the game on this issue...

The US government is apparently working to absolve US-based companies from complying with EU law even for data centers in Europe owned by US companies via the TISA trade agreement negotiations.

So maybe this could become an additional accelerant to encouraging EU development of their own data centers, but maybe using TISA to negotiate these things suggests that US is laying groundwork for retaliation, or denial, anyway, of favorable trade status if EU does build its own data centers and/or cloud technology solutions.

Seems to me you could make a case that TISA and TPP are stealthy trade agreement efforts aimed at extending USA corporate sovereignty over any countries that have strong economic need or desire to trade with it. (And people in the USA as well, because I think TPP brings SOPA/PIPA back in thru the fast-track back-door.) Maybe this would be good for Americans (or at least for the wealthiest among them) but if you're not a big fan of empire-building or worry about its consequences, then, oh well.

I didn't expect, maybe should have, that the success of the US-based cloud and SAAS providers would be a mercantilist lever the US government could use to further its trade and financial agenda. 

If finance is truly being weaponized, then perhaps TISA and TPP are tactical nukes in the arsenal. And clouds are spoils of war? Or one of the battlefields?

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