Fifty nations and over 150 tech companies pledged Monday to do more to fight criminal activity on the internet, including interference in elections and hate speech. But the United States, Russia and China are not among them.
The group of governments and companies pledged in a document entitled the “Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace” to work together to prevent malicious activities like online censorship and the theft of trade secrets.
The push is supported by EU countries, Japan and Canada as well as tech giants Facebook, Google and Microsoft, among others.
French President Emmanuel Macron had pushed for the initiative, whose unveiling comes a day after dozens of world leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday for the centenary of the end of World War One.
Speaking at the Internet Governance Forum organized at the Paris-based U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, Macron said it’s urgent to better regulate the internet.
The French leader also said that Facebook had accepted to let a team of French officials observe the way it monitors and removes hate speech content.
It will happen in the early part of next year, and the goal is to “elaborate precise, concrete joint proposals about the fight against hate speech and offensive content,” Macron said.
Speaking at another summit focusing on new technologies in Paris city hall, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “one of the things we have to do as a society as tech leaders but also as government is reassure people that the innovation, technology … is going to empower them in ways they will feel part of the world we’re building, of the workplaces we’re creating.”
Chinese Premier Urges Guard of Free Trade on Singapore Visit
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed the need for free trade on Monday, as he drew similarities between his country and Singapore, a bustling regional hub.
“China and Singapore have a special cooperative relationship because there are profound cultural and people-to-people exchanges between us,” Li said.
“We both safeguard multilateralism and free trade. We also keep the peace and stability in the South China Sea,” he added.
Li is on an official visit to Singapore ending Friday. He is to deliver a lecture on Singapore-China relations and regional development, and participate in a summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
China is locked in a simmering trade dispute with the U.S., which accuses it of violating its market-opening obligations, and the two countries have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted on Monday that exactly 40 years had passed since then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping visited the city-state.
The countries have worked together on a string of projects since then, including the Suzhou Industrial Park and the Tianjin Eco-city, he said.
Lee said China and ASEAN “share a common interest in upholding an open, rules-based multilateral order.”
“Singapore and China are like-minded partners in many areas even though we have different circumstances and constraints,” he added.
“But I believe we can continue to tap into our complementary strengths, deepen cooperation and make sure that our all-around cooperative partnership continues to progress with the times.”
China and Singapore signed 11 memoranda of understanding on Monday. They upgraded a free trade agreement and stepped up cooperation in urban planning and development, among others.
Abu Dhabi Summit: Oil Production Cuts May Be Necessary
Major oil producers on hand for a summit in Abu Dhabi acknowledge that production cuts of up to 1 million barrels a day may be necessary.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday that an analysis suggested that cut may be necessary, but authorities felt there were many assumptions built into that.
His counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, Suhail al-Mazrouei, currently the president of OPEC, similarly said “changes” would likely be necessary.
He, however, added that “we need not to overreact when these things happen.”
Crude oil dropped to a low of $30 a barrel in January 2016. Benchmark Brent crude, which had been trading above $80 a barrel recently, now hovers just over $70.
The officials spoke Monday at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference.
Frontier Pilots Could Be Close to Reaching New Contract
Frontier Airlines pilots could be close to reaching a new contract after over two years of talks.
The union representing pilots for the Denver-based discount carrier announced Monday it reached an “agreement in principle” on a deal including improvements to pay, work rules and benefits.
A statement from the Air Line Pilots Association says it still must be reviewed by the Frontier union’s executive council, which will decide whether to send it to pilots for a vote.
Frontier pilots have been working under a contract changed in 2011 to keep their airline out of bankruptcy.
Pilots have picketed in Denver and sent a “strike bus” to cities in the airline’s network over the last year to try to build public awareness for their cause.
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