Mo’ scendo

Premessa Questa settimana segna la fine della fase della mia vita a servizio della cosa pubblica. Una fase durata otto anni. La mia vita professionale non nasce e non vive di aspirazioni rivolte a una carriera politica, lo preciso qualora chi si trovasse a leggermi non mi conoscesse. Sono un informatico e un imprenditore (qui un mio profilo molto sintetico) chiamato alla partecipazione politica proprio in virtù delle mie esperienze precedenti. Nell’intraprendere questo percorso ho appreso molte cose che credo sia interessante conoscere a chi si affacci alla politica; a chi di lavoro analizza la vita politica (ci sono retroscena mai pubblicati …
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Apple’s new child abuse prevention system: an antitrust/competition point of view

Apple has announced the new client-side content scanning (based on parameters received from the center) to find child sexual abuse materials to be reported to law enforcers. The point I try to make is that it will do little to protect children (while weakening users’ privacy and pushing criminals to hide better) but it will be used as  an excuse to justify a tight control of the devices in order to perpetuate their apparent monopolistic power through the app store in a time when such behavior is under the fire of competition authorities. As per Apple’s announcement, that will happen when uploading …
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Artificial intelligence, egovernment architecture, institutional democratic architecture

Artificial intelligence opens us new application spaces, previously inaccessible on an algorithmic basis: activities of perception, classification and prediction. But every time we digitize an activity, the speed of computers is such that the scale transcends traditional human possibilities. Scenarios of mass customization, mass conditioning, mass surveillance, etc. open up. If these activities are carried out by governments, what are the appropriate checks and balances? Under what power would Montesquieu have placed egovernment? What is the most suitable IT architecture for an institutional democratic architecture?
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A comment on the baseline global tax for corporations

The G7 agreement on the baseline global tax for corporations is a major diplomatic accomplishment and great news. When implemented it will help contrast the states’ race to the bottom to attract multinational corporations fiscal headquarters. Spain has already endorsed the plan (Spain is  not part of the G79. Negotiators hope to expand the deal to the G20 in 2021. G20 account fo aprox. 80% of international trade. But let’s not forget a few facts: the average global corporate tax rate is 23% (it was about 40% in the 80s) in the US this is unlikely to pass soon as international treaties require a …
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From “Surveillance Capitalism” to “Surveillance eGovernment” – Some thoughts

Prof. Lessig correctly says that “code is law”, as software controls who can do what, without exceptions. There has been growing discontent around the world towards the control of code by the multinational giants GAFAM, and many states are introducing “digital sovereignty” rules to assert their right to determine how software should be managed. In fact, limiting oneself to the sole consideration that they don’t like GAFAM-controlled code, is short-sighted. By putting more focus on it, before making missteps, one should ask, “and so, who should control it ?” Control of the public administration software/data is a major power as enables …
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Apple, Facebook and Google should be ashamed of their proposals

There was an advertisement when I was a kid that spelled “What to give to a man who has everything ? More of the same”. It was a whiskey. Now we have an issue about excessive profiling, excessive market power, excessive political influence. How can we intervene ? Apple would like to curtail advertising based business models, thanks to a tight control of their OS and app environment, which would stregthen their gatekeeping position on the app market. Google would like to get rid of cookies, promoting a technology that would make them more than today, the platform controlling the online advertising business. Facebook …
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AT&T ending zero-rating

AT&T ends zero rating. This is more than a win for net neutrality, it’s the confirmation that – contrary to old telcos’ narratives – zero rating made little business sense. (as those readers who follow me since several years already knew very well) If we look at the huge data packages that can be bought for few euros/month, prices brought down by competition, Zero rating makes little sense for consumers. It would make sense if lack of competition would cause rival mobile operators artificially limiting the size of data packages provided to users. But when you have competition, you will always have an …
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A misconception about the vaccination passport

I hear people saying that a vaccination passport will be paramount to enable resuming international travel. AFAIK, it is not at all clear that a vaccination will make people not contagious. (nature) Covid19 vaccines helps not getting the covid19 disease, it doesn’t imply that people is not going to be contagious. If you are a vaccinated person travelling to the UK, the vaccination passport only tells the UK administration that you are not going to cause burden onto the NHS (National Health Service). As we will be more and more vaccinated, to resume travelling, we will need to strenghten the capacity of PCR testing …
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