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November 30, 2018updated 29 Nov 2018 4:38pm

Court discusses seized Facebook documents / US and Canada settle differences to sign USMCA / IEA warns against economic sanctions

By Luke Christou

Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Court discusses seized Facebook documents

A United States court will hold a hearing today in relation to the documents belonging to Facebook that were seized by the United Kingdom’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee last week, as part of app developer Six4Three’s case against the social media giant.

The DCMS Committee seized the documents from Six4Three founder Theodore Kramer when he appeared at the committee’s inquiry into disinformation. They are believed to contain information suggesting that Facebook was aware of Russian election meddling as early as 2014.

The Six4Three case initially regarded Facebook’s decision to limit third party access to user data, which caused the company’s Pikini app to fail. However, it has since been amended to include complaints of mass surveillance and privacy abuse.

The seized documents are sealed as part of the ongoing case. However, there have been suggestions that the committee may publish the documents in the coming weeks.

USMCA signed in at G20

A signing ceremony for the new North America trade agreement will take place today, as announced by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow earlier this week.

Representatives from the US, Canada and Mexico will meet at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to finalise the agreement, which is set to replace the old NAFTA agreement on free trade on the continent.

Despite announcing that an agreement had been reached in early October, discussions were still ongoing between Canada and the US yesterday over the wording of a section of US diary, egg and poultry products. Canadian officials feel that the published text is different to what had been agreed in negotiations.

The signing ceremony is scheduled to take place at midday London time.

IEA warns against economic sanctions

The Institute of Economic Affairs today publishes its report into economic sanctions, concluding that they are often ineffective and have a negative impact on the global economy.

The report comes in the wake of President of the United States Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement earlier this year and impose fresh sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation.

The US has since issued waivers on these sanctions, but the IEA has warned that the global economy is “still going through a very difficult time” and is “very fragile”.

The report also warns that sanctions can have damaging consequences that put those living in targeted countries at risk.

Yesterday’s highlights

Tim Berners-Lee on the World Wide Web and Solid: “Vague, but exciting”

Technology predictions for 2019: What does the future hold?

Business digital asset spend surpasses traditional deals for first time

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