What we’re watching: WHO vaccination passports, Australia versus Huge Tech, Nigeria’s army shaken
Advantages and disadvantages of vaccination cards: As more countries adopt COVID vaccines, the World Health Organization has begun work on a global “vaccination passport” certification that it hopes will be recognized worldwide. In theory, such a document would free global travelers from negative testing and quarantining when they arrive. But this is where it gets difficult: while countries like Greece, whose economies are heavily dependent on tourism, are campaigning to bring tourists back to their hotels and restaurants, it is still unclear whether vaccinated people are protected from getting themselves sick, can spread the virus to others. If some countries or regions jump in arms and lift restrictions on those with proof of vaccination, it could create a potential flood of infections, which in turn would lead to new lockdowns and more economic turmoil. On the other hand, having a global standard for checking who got the sting could avoid the chaos associated with different nations’ medical standards when vaccines offer protection against the transmission of disease. The WHO has already done this with its famous “Yellow Card”, which documents vaccinations against a number of diseases such as rubella and cholera. Will it be possible to develop a paperless version that is widely accepted?
Australia takes over Big Tech: In the most recent row in the big tech world, Google threatened to block search engine access to all Australian users (19 million per month) after a proposed bill forced Google and Facebook to pay a license fee to media companies to distribute their content . Facebook then warned Australian users to post news on its feeds when the bill goes into effect. Google says it is ready to negotiate but the Australian bill is going too far. In particular, the tech giant is opposed to setting up an automatic arbitration model that would allow Australian courts to decide how much Google to pay if it can’t reach a direct settlement with a publisher (this would open up Google to infinite financial risks, the company said). . The dispute with Australia is certainly a sign of what is to come around the globe. While the EU agreed to a block-wide copyright rule in 2019, some individual nations have yet to pursue their own additional copyright laws – France recently did so and subsequently signed a content producer license agreement with Google. But those who have not already done so will be watching very, very closely the outcome of the chaotic dispute with Australia.
Nigerian military reshuffle: In response to mounting pressure to improve the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power and promised to oversee an era of security and stability in Nigeria, has taken the brave step, military commanders and all To replace Department of Defense. Although he has not given a reason for the reshuffle, Buhari – a former general who headed a military junta that ruled Nigeria in the early 1980s but was elected a civilian in 2015 – has struggled to make progress on the numerous security crises the USA are facing land. Nigeria is currently suffering from an increase in jihadist violence by Boko Haram and Islamic State-affiliated groups, renewed pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, bloody clashes between Christian farmers and predominantly Muslim nomadic herders, and a resurgent separatist movement in Biafra. In addition, Nigeria is still wavering on the police’s response to the police brutality that sparked the #EndSARS protests last October. Interestingly, the new top brass is considerably younger than the previous military leadership, but it remains to be seen if they can get the job done.