DATA PROTECTIONISM: THE GROWING MENACE TO GLOBAL BUSINESS
An article from the Financial Times on 14th May argues that China’s digital protectionism is as great a threat as barriers it puts up for physical goods. China severely restricts international transfers of data, the company incurs extra costs setting up local data storage and segregating some of the information from the rest of its operations. Many countries are imposing similar, if less drastic, restrictions. As well as the expense of adding new national data centres, companies run much less efficiently if their information is Balkanised. Governments have sharply increased “data localisation” measures requiring information to be held in servers inside individual countries. The European Centre for International Political Economy, a think-tank, calculates that in the decade to 2016, the number of significant data localisation measures in the world’s large economies nearly tripled from 31 to 84. Business organisations including the US Chamber of Commerce want rules to restrain what they call “digital protectionism”. https://medium.com/financial-times/data-protectionism-the-growing-menace-to-global-business-f994da37e9e2
WHY THE PROBLEM OF ‘MONEY MULES’ IS ONLY LIKELY TO GROW
Illicit Trade on 25th April reported that a recent report from the UK fraud prevention body, Cifas, revealed that young Britons are increasingly being persuaded to act as money mules for hackers and other criminals. The study highlighted a 27% rise in the number of 14 to 24-year-olds who allowed their bank accounts to be used to launder the proceeds of criminal activity last year. Throughout 2017, Cifas noted an 11% increase in the number of bank accounts that may have been used for money mule activities, suggesting that criminals are ramping up their efforts to recruit the cash-strapped to launder their ill-gotten gains. Over recent years, a growing number of individuals and groups with funds to launder have used the internet to recruit mules who are happy to have cash paid into their bank accounts before forwarding it on. Criminals looking to recruit money mules often place advertisements on legitimate employment sites and classified listings services. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp and social media platforms including Facebook are also used to lure young people in. In November, a Europol and the European Banking Federation operation resulted in 159 arrests, the identification 766 money mules and 59 money mule organisers operating in various countries across the globe. In total, law enforcement agencies that took part in the crackdown detected illicit money transfers worth $36 million.