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Decline in 10-Year Treasury Yield and Mortgage Rates Another Bear Market Rally. A longer uptrend in yields is intact with higher and higher lows


“Nothing goes in a straight line.” This is how functional markets adjust to the new reality: High inflation, higher degrees.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

There has been much talk and handwringing and Fed-pivot fantasy about the 10-year Treasury yield falling from 4.25% at the end of October to 3.51% at Friday’s close. That’s a 74-basis point decline. Profitability in percentage terms decreased by 17%. A decrease in profitability means an increase in the price of these securities. Thus, this fall in income represents a rise in prices.

But here’s the thing: During the summer bear market rally, the 10-year yield fell 25% from 3.49% to 2.60%. Before that, there were several small bear market rallies. But the biggest bear market rally during this bond bear market was from April 2021 to August 2021, when yields fell 30% from 1.70% to 1.19%.

The 10-year yield closed at 0.52% on August 4, 2020, marking the end of a 39-year bond bull market. Since then, the 10-year yield has risen sharply, with big swings followed by smaller retracements, followed by big swings, then smaller retracements, etc., true to the Wolf Street dictum, “Nothing goes in a straight line. ” As the 10-year yield rose, it recorded higher and higher lows each time. And the current bear market rally is a good fit, and their returns could go lower and still fit nicely:

In August 2020, the 10-year yield hit 0.52% — after extensive hype from bond and hedge fund kings, queens and gurus on social media, CNBC and Bloomberg that the Fed would push. It turned interest rates negative, as did central banks in Europe and Japan.

It was an attempt to manipulate people into buying 10-year securities with almost no yield, thereby driving yields lower and prices higher to make said kings, queens, and gurus a lot of money.

At that time, the buyer of the 10-year note got a really bad deal, as it marked the bottom of the 39-year bond market, during which the 10-year yield fell from 15.8% in September 1981 to 0.52% in August. fell to 2020 – not in a straight line – is driven by lower inflation and lower interest rates, with some big swings in between and money printing and interest rate repression since 2008.

But now we have the fastest Fed rate hike in 40 years and the Fed’s fastest QT hike ever, at $381 billion in six months.

Mortgage rates followed a similar pattern. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate began to rise from a low of 2.65% in early 2021. But not in a straight line either. It reached 3.18% in April 2021 and then declined to 2.78% in June 2021. At the end of December 2021, it fell again to 3.11%.

And then as the Fed ended QE, then raised rates, and then began QT, mortgage rates rose — punctuated by major bear market rallies, notably the summer bear market rally, when the 30-year average fixed mortgage rate fell. 14%, from 5.8% to 4.99%, only to rise again to 7.08% at the end of October. According to the Freddie Mac index released on December 1st, the rate reversed some of that increase to 6.49%. This represents an 8.3% drop in average mortgage rates.

From the start of 2021, we still have an uninterrupted uptrend marked by higher and higher lows in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate, and a further decline would still fit well with the overall uptrend:

Trend is your friend. Lots of Fed-fun and rate-cutting and Fed-soon-to-start-again-QE-mongering, etc. each side pushes in its own direction, thereby pushing markets volatile up and down. But this is how functional markets adapt to new realities. Corrections do not happen overnight. If they do, it’s a terrible thing indeed. And they don’t line up in predictable straight lines either. They go about it in rough and hasty ways over time, but eventually they get there.

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Risky online behavior among young people has “almost normalized” the Internet, research says


Risky and criminal online behavior is at risk of becoming normalized among a younger generation in Europe, according to an EU-funded study which found that one in four 16-19-year-olds have trolled someone online and one in three have trolled online. digital piracy.

The EU-funded study found evidence of widespread criminal, risky and offending among 16-19 year olds in nine European countries, including the UK.

The survey of 8,000 young people found that one in four had stalked or trolled someone online, one in eight had engaged in online harassment, one in 10 had engaged in hate speech or hacking, and one in five had engaged in sexting. engaged and one in three people engages in digital piracy. It was also found that four out of 10 people watched pornography.

Julia Davidson, co-author of the study and professor of criminology at the University of East London (UEL), said risky and criminal online behavior has become almost normal among a generation of European youth.

“Research shows that a large proportion of young people in the EU engage in some form of cyber-crime, to the extent that low-level crime online and online risk-taking has become almost normal,” he said.

Risky and criminal behavior among 16-19 year olds – graph

Davidson, who conducted the research with her UEL colleague Professor Mary Aiken, said the findings of the study showed that men were more likely to engage in risky or criminal behaviour, with around three-quarters of men admitting to taking any cybercrime or online risk. 65% of women.

The survey asked young people about 20 types of online behavior, including viewing pornographic material, posting revenge porn, creating self-generated sexual images and posting hate speech.

According to the survey, more than half of participants engaged in behavior that would be considered a crime in most jurisdictions, such as hacking, sharing intimate images without consent, or “money laundering,” where someone receives money from a third party and passes it on. in practice related to the proceeds of cybercrime.

A survey by a research agency with previously used sample groups found that half of 16-19-year-olds spend 4-7 hours a day online, with four in 10 spending more than eight hours a day online, primarily on phones. It was found that the top five platforms among the group were YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok and Snapchat.

The nine countries surveyed were Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Romania. The country with the highest rate of what the study calls “cyberdeviance” – a mix of criminal and non-criminal but risky behavior – is Spain at 75%, followed by Romania, the Netherlands and Germany at around 72%. The UK ranked lowest at 58%.

The research was carried out in collaboration with the cybercrime center at Europol, an agency funded by the EU’s Horizon fund, which works with EU crime agencies across the economic bloc. It calls for more awareness among young people and parents about potentially harmful and risky behavior online.

The results were published amid landmark online regulation in the EU and UK. In the UK, the online safety bill, which will return to parliament next week, will create a number of new offences. These include promoting self-harm online and sharing deep fake pornography, which is images manipulated to look like someone without their consent.

Aiken said: “The online security bill is potentially groundbreaking and addresses key issues facing every country. It can act as a catalyst in bringing the tech industry to account. The bill sets out a number of key measures to protect children and young people; however, our findings suggest that greater emphasis is needed on accountability and prevention, particularly in the context of youth online offending.”

The EU just passed the Digital Services Act, which requires major online platforms and Google to take action against risks such as cyber-bullying against women and online harm to children.



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Bitcoin lags behind as ‘Fed Trade’ opening lifts US stocks above 200-day moving average


Unless you’ve been underwater for more than a year, you probably know that selling risky assets like US stocks and bitcoin (BTC) and buying the US dollar against the Japanese yen (JPY) have been some of the most popular macro bets since early 2010. 2022.

Investors have been reassessing their commitment to these so-called Federal Reserve (Fed) trades in recent weeks and returning to riskier assets, except for bitcoin, thanks to the peak inflation story and the central bank’s indication of moderation in liquidity tightening from December.

The S&P 500, Wall Street’s main equity index, has gained 16% in less than two months to trade above its widely watched 200-day moving average for the first time since early April. Often referred to as a turbo bet on Fed policy and US interest rates, the USD/JPY pair fell 11% to its 200-day moving average. The dollar index, which tracks the value of the dollar against major fiat currencies, also fell below its 200-day average.

U.S. government bond yields fell sharply from annual highs, confirming the story of peak inflation and the resulting resurgence of risk in equity and currency markets.

However, Bitcoin seems disconnected from macroeconomic developments and traditional markets. At press time, the leading cryptocurrency traded at $17,340 by market cap, or a 22% discount to its 200-day moving average.

This suggests that the FTX bankruptcy could not have come at a worse time for bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market.

“Historically (US) stocks and cryptocurrency have a strong correlation. Without the FTX explosion, bitcoin could be trading at $29,000 by now instead of $17,200 (or 69% higher)” Markus Thielen, Head of Research and Strategy About Cryptocurrency services provider Matrixport said.

“If the market can break through the FTX, those prices are still attainable,” Thielen said.

The chart shows bitcoin trading at a discount to its 200-day moving average. The S&P 500 broke above its 200-day average amid a sharp decline in the dollar index (DXY). (TradingView/CoinDesk)

Bitcoin fell to a two-year low of $15,480 last month.

The dollar index rose nearly 20% in the first nine months of the year, peaking in late September and falling. After a bearish reversal in the dollar, the S&P 500 bottomed out in mid-October.

Weakening of bankruptcy of FTX

Bitcoin’s recent market activity suggests that the worst of the FTX bankruptcy may be behind us. Even as well-known cryptocurrency lender BlockFi files for bankruptcy protection, the leading cryptocurrency is up 4% in the past week.

“There are signs that the overabundance of bad news in recent weeks has had less of an impact on cryptocurrency performance, even as the full context of the uncertainty has not been fully appreciated,” Coinbase Institutional’s weekly note noted. recent moderation in negative sentiment in the options market.

Bitcoin’s one-month call curve, which measures what investors pay for out-of-the-money (OTM) calls versus OTM, rose to -9% from -29% seen on November 13.

Put options offer insurance against price swings, while calls offer insurance against bull runs.

It has pulled back from the November lows, indicating moderation in negative sentiment.  (Amberdata)

It has pulled back from the November lows, indicating moderation in negative sentiment. (Amberdata)

Recovery indicates that the height of the period of fear has decreased. Therefore, cryptocurrency investors can now focus on the improved macro backdrop and the de-risking of traditional markets.

One question is whether the recent risk resurgence in traditional markets will be long-lasting, given that the U.S. economy is headed for recession. The situation, defined by consecutive quarterly contractions in growth rates, does not sound good for risk assets.

An inverted yield curve is widely considered a leading indicator of an impending economic downturn.  (AlpineMacro/ Geo Chen)

An inverted yield curve is widely considered a leading indicator of an impending economic downturn. (AlpineMacro/ Geo Chen)

However, the recession may be a blessing in disguise, according to analysis by macro trader Geo Chen.

“The Fed is likely overtightening into a recession that has already begun, which will likely result in a more sustained downward trend in inflation than many expect,” Chen said in a Nov. 22 Substack post.

“The biggest drivers of asset prices this year have been income and inflation, so the downward trend in income should be a tailwind for asset prices, and next year should look like a mirror image of this year,” Chen added.



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Manufacturing orders from China fell by 40% in demand


An aerial view of stacked containers at Qinzhou Port in Qinzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China on August 15, 2022.

China News Service | Getty Images

U.S. logistics managers are bracing for delays in deliveries from China in early January as container ship sailings are canceled and exports are rolled back by ocean carriers.

Carriers are working on an active capacity management strategy by announcing more empty sails and suspending services to balance supply with demand. Joe Monaghan, chief executive of Worldwide Logistics Group, said: “The relentless decline in container shipping rates from Asia due to reduced demand is forcing ocean carriers to release more sails than ever before as vessel utilization hits new lows.”

According to the latest CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map data, US manufacturing orders in China are down 40 percent. As a result of the drop in orders, Worldwide Logistics told CNBC that it expects Chinese factories to close two weeks earlier than usual for the Chinese Lunar New Year – which falls on January 21 next year. Seven days after the holiday are considered a national holiday.

“Many of the manufacturers will be closing for the holidays in early January, which is earlier than last year,” Monaghan said.

Supply chain research firm Project44 tells CNBC that ship TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) from China to the U.S. have retreated significantly since late summer 2022, including a decline, after trade hit record levels during pandemic lockdowns. 21% of the total ship container volume between August and November.

Asia-based global shipping firm HLS has warned its clients in recent news about the ocean transport business environment.

It seems like a very bad time for the shipping industry. “We have a combination of falling demand and excess capacity as new tonnage enters the market,” he said.

HLS analysts forecast container volumes to decline another 2.5% in 2023 and capacity to grow by around 5-6%, which will continue to weigh on freight rates in 2023.

“The container shipping market will be further challenged by economic uncertainty, geopolitical concerns and increasingly heated market competition,” writes HLS.

OL USA CEO Alan Baer told CNBC there are some early signs of an inventory correction. Overall business and order flow from Asia continues to be muted as carriers cancel more ships and the upturn leading into the Chinese New Year is subdued. But Baer said, “Space is already tight, so even though demand is soft, space could be high in January and through Q1. On the positive side, inventory depletion and the need to restart the order and delivery cycle are on the rise.”

US West Coast ports are the hardest hit

HLS cited trade data showing US imports from Asia fell to a 20-month low in October. The spot rate for a container from Asia to the US West Coast has crossed the breakeven point “with little room for further decline”.

According to Josh Brazil, vice president of supply chain at Project44, the major West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach experienced the biggest drop in trade as shippers also diverted some of their shipments to the East Coast to avoid risk. Big union holiday at West Coast ports.

Read more about China from CNBC Pro

HLS expects most carriers to extend their West Coast rates through Dec. 14 and charge $1,300 to $1,400 per forty-foot equivalent container (FEU). However, rates on the US East Coast are expected to average $3,200-$3,300 per FEU in the first half of December, down $200 or $300 per FEU.

The recent surge in Covid lockdowns in China continues to impact manufacturing operations and delay the release of shipments. There are also local barriers to entry for interstate and intercity transportation, mostly related to truck driver test requirements, and freight capacity is largely affected.

The struggle for ship space, rolling stock and slow freight is tracked by the CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map.

Empty (cancelled) sailing data shows that capacity cuts on the transpacific route (from China to the US) continue at a significant pace. Maersk and MSC’s 2M Alliance has canceled almost half of its US West Coast services for December. The Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping, OOCL and Evergreen) and THE Alliance (Ocean Network Express, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM and Yang Ming Line) have reduced their total vessel capacity by 40-50% in the lead up to Chinese New Year.

As a result, space for shippers is tight for cargo on the Southwest Pacific route, and the reliability of the service has been reduced, with carriers including MSC and Hapag-Lloyd rolling (not receiving) cargo on sails to fill time. According to logistics managers, this creates a two-week delay. “ETAs are indicative and subject to change without prior notice,” MSC said in its latest notice to customers.

The drop in manufacturing orders from the US and EU is also affecting Vietnam, which is developing as a manufacturing hub as more trade moves away from China.

According to a report by Vietnam’s General Statistics Office, 12,500 companies have closed every month since the beginning of this year, an increase of 24.8% year-on-year. According to HLS, the lack of production orders in Vietnam and the increase in lending rates from 6.5% to 13.2% have caused many companies to close factories instead of signing new order contracts. Deferred ocean liners to Vietnam increased by 50% for December.

Surprise European manufacturing growth

In contrast to the decline in orders from China, trade data analyzed by Project44 shows that the Europe-US route is “one of the most surprising and certainly the most significant developments since the beginning of 2020”.

“This sharp increase cannot be explained by the pandemic alone. But the strategic shift away from overdependence on trade with China and geopolitical tensions with Russia are the main drivers of the EU-US trade boom,” he said.

The global trade map is rapidly being redrawn, with EU-US trade and investment in the US rising sharply as economic ties between the West and China come under scrutiny. According to Project 44, the U.S. imported more goods from Europe than China this year — a big change from the 2010s.

“In turn, European manufacturers, struggling with high energy prices and inflation, are increasingly exporting to and investing in the United States,” Brazil said.

In September, Germany’s exports to the United States increased by nearly 50% year-on-year. According to Project 44, the German engineering sector increased its exports to the United States by almost 20% in the first nine months of 2022 compared to the year before.

CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map data providers artificial intelligence and predictive analytics company Everstream Analytics; global freight booking platform Freightos, creator of the Freightos Baltic Dry Index; logistics provider OL USA; supply chain intelligence platform FreightWaves; supply chain platform Blume Global; third-party logistics provider Orient Star Group; global marine analytics provider MarineTraffic; marine visibility data company Project44; maritime transport information company MDS Transmodal UK; ocean and air freight rate comparison and market analytics platform Xeneta; research and analysis Sea-Intelligence ApS leading supplier; Crane Worldwide Logistics; DHL Global Forwarding; freight logistics provider Seko Logistics; Planet, a global, daily satellite imagery and geographic solutions provider, and ITS Logistics provides port and rail drainage services at 22 coastal ports and 30 rail ramps in North America.



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Bitcoin price and Ethereum are above $17,000 and $1,300


On December 5th, leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin finally broke through the key resistance level of $17,000 and is now heading north towards $17,600. Similarly, Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency, has crossed the $1,300 barrier and is moving towards $1,350.

Major cryptocurrencies traded mixed on December 5 as the global cryptocurrency market capitalization rose 1.58% to $865.67 billion on the previous day. In the last 24 hours, the total volume of the cryptocurrency market increased by 5.91% to $32.24 billion.

The total volume in DeFi was $2.42 billion, which is 7.49% of the total 24-hour volume in the cryptocurrency market. The total volume of all stablecoins was $29.19 billion, accounting for 90.52% of the total 24-hour volume of the cryptocurrency market.

Let’s take a look at the top gainers and losers of the altcoins over the past 24 hours.

Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers

Cronos (CRO), Celo (CELO) and Litecoin (LTC) are three of the top 100 coins that have gained in value in the last 24 hours. CRO rose nearly 12% to $0.071; CELO rose more than 11% to $0.6955, while LTC gained nearly 7.5%.

Top Altcoin Gainers and Losers – Source: Coin360

Monero (XMR), Neutrino USD (USDN) and TRON (TRX) are three of the top 100 coins that lost value in the last 24 hours. XMR lost about 1.30% to trade at $144.50, while USDN fell about 1% to $0.8890. At the same time, the price of TRX fell by more than 0.50% to $0.0535.

Bybit to Cut 30% of Workforce as Crypto Bear Market Deepens

Centralized cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has become the latest to lay off staff as the crypto winter continues. The company already laid off its employees in June this year. The company Bybit, headquartered in Singapore, has announced that it has laid off its employees.

In addition, this is all part of the company’s ongoing efforts to restructure. It’s the latest cryptocurrency firm to shift priorities as the bear market worsens. Bybit co-founder and CEO Ben Zhou made the announcement on December 4, adding that the layoffs will affect all departments.

Kraken to lay off more than 1,000 employees as crypto winter losses mount

Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell announced that the company will cut about 1,100 jobs, or 30% of its workforce, to “accommodate current market conditions.”

In particular, Powell cited “macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns” as the main reason for the disappointingly weak growth. He noted that the recent market downturn has reduced trading volumes, new registrations and customer demand.

Kraken claimed that it had to lay off many employees, even as it cut staff and marketing costs. Kraken’s layoffs mirror layoffs at other cryptocurrency companies this month due to the bear market.

Unchained Capital (laying off 600 people) and Coinbase (laying off 60 people) are among the companies that have cut their workforce recently. BlockFi filed for bankruptcy earlier this week following the collapse of FTX, the most common example of market volatility this year.

The BTC/USD exchange rate of the most popular cryptocurrency, the US dollar, has reached its lowest level in two years due to the crash.

This ultimately has a bearish effect on the cryptocurrency market, but the technical review creates a bullish trend in the leading cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Price

The current price of Bitcoin is $17,332, and the 24-hour trading volume is $19 billion. Over the past 24 hours, the BTC/USD pair has gained over 1.5%, with CoinMarketCap currently on top with a live market cap of $363 billion, up from $357 billion yesterday.

It has a total supply of 21,000,000 BTC coins and a circulating supply of 19,224,668 BTC coins.

Bitcoin Price and Tokenomics – Source: coinmarketcap

The BTC/USD pair crossed the $17,250 barrier after crossing a narrow trading range from $16,800 to $17,250. The RSI and MACD indicators are in positive territory and the 50-day moving average is supporting BTC at $16,800.

On the positive side, Bitcoin is approaching the next resistance level at $17,650, and a break above it could take BTC to $18,000. BTC has formed a bullish candle just above the $17,000 bullish trend line in the 4-hour period.

Bitcoin Price Chart – Source: Tradingview

On the downside, Bitcoin support remains at $17,200 and a break below this level could take BTC to $17,000 or even lower to $16,750.

Ethereum Price

The current price of Ethereum is $1,296, with a 24-hour trading volume of $5.5 billion. Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum is up about 2%. CoinMarketCap is currently ranked #2 with a live market cap of $158 billion. It has a circulating supply of 122,373,866 ETH coins.

Ethereum Price and Tokenomics – Source: coinmarketcap

On the 4-hour chart, Ethereum is trading bullish above the $1,250 psychological level and is now trading bearish above and below the $1,300 psychological level.

The bullish bias remains strong as the 50-day moving average is near $1,250. The RSI and MACD recently entered the buy zone, indicating a good opportunity to go long.

Ethereum Price Chart – Source: Tradingview

Increased demand for ETH has the potential to push its price towards the $1,350 resistance level. If ETH fails to close the candles above the $1300 level, the price may fall to the $1250 or $1220 support zones.

Pay attention to the $1300 level, which will act as a key point today.

IMPT Presale Ends Soon: 1 Week to Buy

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There is an IMPT It has collected more than 14 million dollars Since its initial public offering in October, 1 IMPT is currently trading at $0.023.

IMPT.io, the groundbreaking platform for trading carbon offsets and carbon credits, will end its token sale on December 11th due to extraordinary success.

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Find the best price to buy/sell cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency Price Tracker – Source: Cryptonews





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Companies need to increase salary transparency, otherwise employees will quit


Mascot | Digitalvision | Getty Images

Salary transparency laws are proliferating in the US, requiring companies to list salary ranges on job applications. While that’s good news for job seekers, it also increases the chance that current employees will be shocked as they quickly learn how much their colleagues are getting paid.

According to a November 2022 ResumeBuilder.com survey of 1,200 American workers, nearly 1 in 20 workers would quit if they knew they were making less than their co-workers.

“As more people understand how much their positions are paid for by their organizations, it will have consequences for people who are already employed by the company,” said Stacie Haller, career expert at ResumeBuilder.com. “Our survey also found that 63% of those people would ask for an increase for equal pay, and I think many employers will take that into account.”

As these laws push companies and leaders to reframe how they talk about compensation, experts are recommending increased pay transparency for current and potential employees to retain and attract top talent.

Create payment experiences that work for your business

Earlier this month, New York City joined Colorado in job application salary ranges, and California will soon follow in early 2023.

Cheryl Fields is the owner and CEO of Blue Beyond Consulting, a Tyler, Calif.-based firm that will begin adding salary ranges to job postings on Jan. 1 after the government transparency bill passes in September.

Fields Tyler said he already requires payment transparency for his company. Before the law, he said, it was difficult to tell when and how much a particular position paid. If required, then it is easier for companies not to have fragmented payment policies.

“It’s good for business, it’s good for people to have a good, solid rationale for what we’re paying people for and the factors that change any individual situation,” Fields Tyler said.

He advises his clients, including some Fortune 500 companies, to clearly communicate their pay and reward philosophies and practices to employees so they can have straight and fair conversations.

“Pay transparency isn’t just going out on a limb and putting salary ranges in a job posting, because there are many more steps companies need to take internally before they get to that point,” said Lulu Seikaly of employment law at Payscale, a compensation software and data company.

Seikaly recommends that companies establish standard salary ranges for positions across the organization along with new job postings.

“Organizations should objectively establish a salary range before talking to any candidate,” Seikaly said. “So it’s an objective assessment and they’re comparing salaries to competitors, looking at what the market is asking for and internal capital.”

Seikaly said companies can use tier levels to set salary ranges, where exact salaries are based on experience, education, length of time with the company and level of management, but generally employees in comparable positions know they’re all doing the same job. covers like peers.

“For example, what does a level one engineer do? What’s the range for that job?” Seykali said. “What does internal regulation look like in your company?”

Increased transparency attracts and retains top talent

The ResumeBuilder.com survey also found that 85% of workers are more likely to apply for a job where their salary is displayed, and the battle for talent can be driven by companies being transparent about their pay structures, especially among younger generations. workers.

“This is the next step in workers and labor gaining more power in the marketplace,” Haller said. “First of all, we had job flexibility, and now wage transparency is getting stronger, it’s starting to spread, and that’s great for everyone.”

As more companies share salary ranges, it will create a competitive challenge for companies that don’t increase pay transparency, says Aaronde Creighton, chief diversity officer at Leadership Circle, a business leadership development firm.

“In the long run, organizations that are more resistant to pay transparency will begin to see a decline in the number of applicants and a decline in the quality of candidates applying for their roles,” Creighton said. And he added that companies seeking the best talent in a tight labor market may need to increase pay transparency, even if not required by law.

Another component of increasing pay transparency is for companies to invest in manager and supervisor training on how to talk to employees about compensation.

“Front-line managers in most organizations are the ones who need to talk to their employees about pay,” Fields Tyler said. “Even if they can’t share that information, employees go to their managers to understand when and why they’re getting paid a certain amount.”

If companies don’t prioritize pay transparency and equip managers to have those conversations, employees are more likely to turn to companies that offer those benefits.

Don’t stop with pay transparency in entry-level roles

Pay transparency will increase overall morale and trust within the organization as it becomes a cultural change, starting with front-line and entry-level employees.

“The most personal and private thing we have in our employment environment is our compensation packages,” Creighton said. “If we can be transparent about it, we have fewer questions and less uncertainty among our employees.”

But it shouldn’t stop at the lower levels of the organization, Creighton said. Companies must also disclose salaries at the management and senior executive level.

“You can see it in a public organization [pay] Information for the C-suite,” he said. “But how transformative would it be for the workplace environment if people at the director, CEO, and vice president level knew what pay looked like in these arenas?”

According to Creighton, inequality within the company is at an all-time high, and increasing pay transparency not only attracts and retains the best employees, but has the power to transform the entire workforce in every industry.

“When a company has pay transparency at all levels, it becomes a driver and a motivator for people to stay with that employer because employees won’t feel like their company is holding anything back from them,” he said.

Apply to join the CNBC Workforce Executive Board cnbccooncils.com/wec.



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Risky online behavior among young people has “almost normalized” the Internet, research says


Risky and criminal online behavior is at risk of becoming normalized among a younger generation in Europe, according to an EU-funded study which found that one in four 16-19-year-olds have trolled someone online and one in three have trolled online. digital piracy.

The EU-funded study found evidence of widespread criminal, risky and offending among 16-19 year olds in nine European countries, including the UK.

The survey of 8,000 young people found that one in four had stalked or trolled someone online, one in eight had engaged in online harassment, one in 10 had engaged in hate speech or hacking, and one in five had engaged in sexting. engaged and one in three people engages in digital piracy. It was also found that four out of 10 people watched pornography.

Julia Davidson, co-author of the study and professor of criminology at the University of East London (UEL), said risky and criminal online behavior has become almost normal among a generation of European youth.

“Research shows that a large proportion of young people in the EU engage in some form of cyber-crime, to the extent that low-level crime online and online risk-taking has become almost normal,” he said.

Risky and criminal behavior among 16-19 year olds – graph

Davidson, who conducted the research with her UEL colleague Professor Mary Aiken, said the findings of the study showed that men were more likely to engage in risky or criminal behaviour, with around three-quarters of men admitting to taking any cybercrime or online risk. 65% of women.

The survey asked young people about 20 types of online behavior, including viewing pornographic material, posting revenge porn, creating self-generated sexual images and posting hate speech.

According to the survey, more than half of participants engaged in behavior that would be considered a crime in most jurisdictions, such as hacking, sharing intimate images without consent, or “money laundering,” where someone receives money from a third party and passes it on. in practice related to the proceeds of cybercrime.

A survey by a research agency with previously used sample groups found that half of 16-19-year-olds spend 4-7 hours a day online, with four in 10 spending more than eight hours a day online, primarily on phones. It was found that the top five platforms among the group were YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok and Snapchat.

The nine countries surveyed were Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Romania. The country with the highest rate of what the study calls “cyberdeviance” – a mix of criminal and non-criminal but risky behavior – is Spain at 75%, followed by Romania, the Netherlands and Germany at around 72%. The UK ranked lowest at 58%.

The research was carried out in collaboration with the cybercrime center at Europol, an agency funded by the EU’s Horizon fund, which works with EU crime agencies across the economic bloc. It calls for more awareness among young people and parents about potentially harmful and risky behavior online.

The results were published amid landmark online regulation in the EU and UK. In the UK, the online safety bill, which will return to parliament next week, will create a number of new offences. These include promoting self-harm online and sharing deep fake pornography, which is images manipulated to look like someone without their consent.

Aiken said: “The online security bill is potentially groundbreaking and addresses key issues facing every country. It can act as a catalyst in bringing the tech industry to account. The bill sets out a number of key measures to protect children and young people; however, our findings suggest that greater emphasis is needed on accountability and prevention, particularly in the context of youth online offending.”

The EU just passed the Digital Services Act, which requires major online platforms and Google to take action against risks such as cyber-bullying against women and online harm to children.



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Not great: Salvadorans defrauded millions via ‘Chivo’ BTC wallet


A civil lawsuit alleges that the government of El Salvador lost up to $24 million in taxpayer funds when it launched the BTC digital wallet Chivo (Spanish for “cool”) last year.

This week, Guatemala-based investigative journalism outlet No Ficción reported on Shaun Overton’s August testimony in a civil lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Overton heads ROI Developers/Accruvia, a Texas-based software development firm that is suing Athena Bitcoin Global, the company behind El Salvador’s BTC-based automated teller machines (ATMs) and the Chivo digital wallet.

ROI launched legal action earlier this year based on claims that Athena failed to pay nearly $84,000 for work it did between September and November 2021 trying to save the Chivo wallet. Athena’s ATMs, a violation Athena claims convinced El Salvador to reduce its ATM purchases.

Somewhat reassuringly, El Salvador last year became the first country to make BTC legal tender, which its president, Nayib Bukele, saw as a bid to favor foreign “crypto brothers” from Blockstream and Tether and “burn its cryptocurrency.” was done. millennial cool’ dictator image.

Despite Bukele’s merciless partying with the help of an elaborate echo chamber of government-sponsored media and online trolls, local acceptance of BTC has been largely non-existent by both businesses and consumers. Even BTC-based remittances – the alleged engine behind Bukele’s Chivo push – never exceeded 2% of the total.

To stimulate local adoption of BTC, Salvadorans were encouraged to download the Chivo wallet and collect a one-time payment of $30 USD in BTC. But Chivo has proven to be a nightmare since its launch on September 7, 2021, with Overton claiming that the Chivo software consists of “spaghetti code” that is “functionally unusable”. Unfortunately, the decisions made by government officials made the situation worse.

Know your potted plant

Overton claims that “vendor KYC after the first 150 registrations on the platform [know your customer] crashed.” Overton believed that Bukele had “almost risked his whole career [Chivo’s] successfully submitted, so the government decided to “eliminate” the KYC vendor from the process so they could “hit the initial starting point of 50,000 users”.

From that point on, Overton said, there was “literally no control” over who opened Chivo wallets. If someone had their name and Documento Unico de Identidad (DUI) number, “they could sign up for Chivo Wallet, get $30 absolutely free as a sign-up gift, and then withdraw that money right away.”

Users were required to submit their own photos to claim the $30 reward, but Overton alleges that Miguel Sabal, a Venezuelan adviser to Bukele who allegedly forms part of the “shadow cabinet” in the Bukele administration, told users to submit them instead. “Pictures of the wall, potted plants.”

Cristosal, a local non-governmental organization, reported finding that more than 1,100 people trying to register with Chivo had their DUIs entered into the system and were charged $30. DUI information is public, so Overton said, “all you have to do is find a list… sign up, get $30, get it back. [BTC] and now it is untraceable.”

Overton didn’t say how he came up with those numbers, but claims his group “estimates that 10-20% of all registered users are fraudsters. And the vast majority of this money left the Chivo Wallet system.

About four million of the population of 6.5 million have signed up for Chivo, Overton claims. If 10% of those registrations were fraudulent, the government received $12 million, double that amount if the 20% estimate applies. Not an insignificant amount, especially for a country the size of El Salvador, especially one that is struggling to service its foreign debts.

Day trading for dummies

In addition to the fake registrations, Overton claims that the Salvadoran government is “bleeding money through arbitration in a completely separate way.” The Chivo wallet updated the fiat value of BTC once a minute, meaning users could identify discrepancies between the listed Chivo price and the actual price.

The result, according to Overton, is that “we’ve got almost the entire country becoming day traders,” who wait for the real BTC price to move far enough away from the Chivo price, then “buy risk-free and sell it five seconds later and make half a percent or a percentage of their money.” .” Overton cited a specific case where “we saw a guy start with $2,000 and he had close to $400,000,” all of which was government/taxpayer money.

The official Chivo Twitter feed of the government addressed this issue warned last October that it was a type of “fraud” that the government was taking steps to stamp out.

Overton said shadow minister Sabal had reached out to him again and said “it needs to be fixed now, tonight”. Overton said he warned Sabala about the dangers of going live with software changes without conducting any quality assurance testing, but was rebuffed.

True, the failed application of the “fix” resulted in the official Chivo exchange rate being 1 USD = 1 BTC. At the time, one BTC was actually worth about $60,000. About 3,600 transactions worth about $180,000 were made in exchange for more than $10 billion, which “immediately bankrupted the government.”

Overton was authorized to temporarily withdraw the entire Chivo network, but not before users could withdraw about $250,000. Because the system was designed to ban BTC withdrawals between 10:00 PM and 6:00 PM the following morning, “nobody could actually use the chain. [BTC] outside the system, they were only able to transfer it within Chivo. The only money that could leak was using Lightning.

This is a reference to the Lightning Network, a so-called “Layer 2” solution that attempts to bypass the seven-transaction-per-second limit of the underlying BTC layer. Lightning, the most prominent version of which is operated by Blockstream, allows users to transfer a certain amount of BTC on the initial blockchain, then make off-chain transactions using special Lightning game money.

Like Chivo, Lightning has been confusing from the start, but it says that one of the only real use cases it’s been able to demonstrate so far, based on the Chivo coupon, is enabling cheating.

Athena eventually split from Chivo in December 2021, with many of its roles handled by iFinex, both the parent company of the controversial Tether stablecoin and the parent company of the equally sketchy digital asset exchange Bitfinex. Giancarlo Devasini, co-founder of iFinex, posed with Bukele last month as part of a celebration of the legislative victory, pictured below.

Fraud occurs without action

The No Ficcione article included a photo of Overton at a blockchain conference in November 2021, where Bukele announced plans to build a ‘Bitcoin City’ in the municipality of La Unión. The Cockamamie project was to be financed by issuing $1 billion of “Volcano Bonds,” as Bitcoin City planned to use geothermal energy provided by local lava eruptions.

Bitcoin City isn’t getting much play these days, but last month, Bukele introduced legislation to create a National Digital Assets Commission that would offer legal protection not only to BTC, but also to other tokens, including Tether.

The legislation also purportedly clears the way for Volcano Bonds, which were originally slated to be issued this spring but have been delayed. At the time, the government attributed the delay to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, although everyone thought Bukele’s idea was crazy.

Given all the cryptocurrency carnage that has taken place over the past month, it’s less implausible to think that these bonds are now being hailed by institutional investors. But given the 667 million euros in Salvadoran bonds due in January and the International Monetary Fund’s rejection of the country’s bailout calls, the need to sell these new bonds is urgent.

Vulcan bonds were to be issued on Blockstream’s Liquid Network, another Layer 2 that targets high-volume transactions between these exchanges. To no one’s surprise, Bitfinex was chosen to manage the bond issue through a local subsidiary.

Some secret iFinex affiliate will almost certainly be the main buyer of the renewed “Bitcoin Bonds” – probably not in dollars, but in Tether, so as not to cause any embarrassment to Bukele once the sale starts. But since half of the $1 billion raised will be used by Bukele to buy more BTC, the token will get a nice price pump, paving the way for retail users to dump iFinex.

Although the bonds promise a yield of 6.5%, it appears to be a quick citizenship for the main attractors. With increased regulatory focus on cryptocurrency scammers, the appeal to the Tether/Bitfinex crowd is obvious. El Salvador has an extradition treaty with the United States, but it is rarely used, even for members of the notorious MS-13 gang.

Local media suggested that Bukele made a deal with MS-13 to protect its members from extradition in exchange for keeping the peace. It’s not too hard to imagine Bukele making similar deals with deep-pocketed blockchain pirates.

From BitMEX to Binance, Bitcoin.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Coinbase, Ripple,
Ethereum, FTX and Tether – combining the digital asset revolution and turning the industry into a minefield for naive (and even seasoned) players in the market.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek Bitcoin for beginners The section is the ultimate resource guide for learning more about Bitcoin and blockchain as envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto.





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China Covid rest, Hong Kong stocks rise


Morgan Stanley upgrades China stocks to overweight

Strategists at Morgan Stanley raised their recommendation on China stocks to overweight, according to a note on Sunday.

According to strategists led by Laura Wang, the upgrade marks the end of the firm’s nearly two-year long position of equal weight in Chinese stocks.

Morgan Stanley noted a number of factors that have seen “meaningful positive development” since November, including what the firm sees as “a confirmed path towards the final post-Covid reopening”.

– Michael Bloom, Jihye Lee

Hong Kong carriers: Chinese tech firms and reopening stocks bounce

Hong Kong-listed Chinese technology, consumer and travel-related firms saw sharp gains in early trade after some Chinese cities saw some easing of Covid restrictions.

Tech heavyweights Tencent rose 5.5%, Meituan 3.5%, Alibaba 4.72% and Xiaomi 7.31%. EV stocks like Li Auto gained 9.19% and Nio gained 11.5%.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong-listed casino stocks also rose, with MGM China up 12.44%, Wynn Macau up 12.35% and Sands China up 7.5%. Galaxy Entertainment rose 3.61% and SJM Holdings It increased by 4.82%.

Hotpot restaurant operator Haidilao It’s up 15% and airline stocks are up too. China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines and each increased by more than 5% Weather China earned 4%.

The broader Hang Seng index rose 3.21%.

– Abigail Ng, Jihye Lee

Private research China’s service activity index shows six-month low

The Caixin/S&P Global Services Purchasing Managers’ Index was 46.7 for November. is the lowest in six months.

The reading was 48.4 in October and 49.3 in September.

PMIs are consistent and represent monthly changes in factory activity. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction.

“The pace of decline was robust overall, but remained weaker than declines seen during previous large waves of Covid-19 cases,” Caixin said in a statement.

“Efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, amid a marked increase in the number of cases in recent weeks, affected business operations and customer demand in China’s service sector during November,” he said.

China’s official non-manufacturing PMI released last week stood at 46.7, the lowest since April 2022.

– Abigail Ng

China’s yuan strengthens as hopes resurface

The Chinese currency has strengthened around 7 against the US dollar following recent reports pointing to further easing of China’s Covid policies.

The offshore yuan traded at 6.9861 against the dollar, surpassing the 7 level for the first time since mid-September.

Beijing and Shenzhen are taking steps to relax testing requirements and quarantine rules, even as the number of daily cases hits an all-time high.

The latest moves come nearly a week after public unrest erupted across the country over the crackdown.

– Jihye Lee

Oil futures up 2% after OPEC+ held steady and China eases some Covid restrictions

Chinese markets will halt trading for three minutes on Tuesday as the nation mourns the former leader

CNBC Pro: Fund manager names two global retailers poised to ‘dominate’

A veteran Schroders fund manager has named two global retailers that are set to “dominate” their sector.

Andrew Brough, who runs the Schroder UK Mid Cap Fund, said the two conservatively managed companies had quietly acquired failing rivals on the cheap, capturing market share before the downturn.

One of those stocks has already risen by 30% this year, while the benchmark index has fallen by 29%.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Ganesh Rao

Stock futures fell, bond yields rose on warmer-than-expected jobs data

At 8:30 a.m., stock futures fell as bond yields rose in response to stronger-than-expected jobs data by economists.

Here’s how each major futures index and major bond yields moved in the 30 minutes leading up to and after the data release:

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs upgrades this global tech giant, saying the stock could rise as much as 90%

Goldman Sachs sees an opportunity in the “upward trend” in electric cars.

The trend will accelerate as EVs become “more technology-based” and simpler to build, Goldman analysts said in a Dec. 1 report.

That would benefit one global stock, Goldman said, giving the stock as much as 90% upside in a bullish scenario for the firm.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

– Weizhen Tan

In November, wages in the United States increased by 263,000

Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the labor market, job growth was stronger than expected in November.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 263,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%.

The payrolls numbers were expected to rise by another 200,000 jobs, according to Dow Jones consensus estimates. The unemployment rate was expected to remain at 3.7%.

Stock futures fell after the wage announcement.

– Sara Min



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A new iron curtain descends on the Russian Internet


Comment

Advocates of an open, globally connected Internet have long worried that a major country or region would be cut off from the Internet amid geopolitical strife, dashing hopes of a seamless network capable of connecting a tumultuous world.

Less than a week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world is closer than ever to this disturbing prophecy.

On Friday, Moscow censors banned Facebook and restricted other American social media services. After a similar move by Apple, Microsoft banned sales to Russians. Cogent Communications, a leading American Internet information channel, cut ties with Russian clients to prevent its networks from being used for propaganda or cyber attacks against besieged Ukrainians.

Taken together, these and other developments are likely to make it harder for Russians to follow the horrors unfolding in Ukraine at a time when Russia’s independent media has been almost completely shut down by President Vladimir Putin. On a broader scale, these steps bring Russia closer to the day when its online networks turn largely inward, and its global connections are weakened, if not completely severed.

“I am very afraid of this,” said Mikhail Klimarev, executive director of the Internet Protection Society, which defends digital freedoms in Russia. “I would like to convey to people all over the world that if you shut down the Internet in Russia, it means cutting off 140 million people from at least a little bit of truthful information. As long as there is internet, people can learn the truth. There will be no Internet – all people in Russia will listen only to propaganda.

Microsoft has stopped sales in Russia

Internet censorship technology is developing in Russia, says Russian journalist Andrey Soldatov, author of the book “Red Internet”. He said people are increasingly relying on VPNs to access blocked websites by accessing hotspots outside of Russia, but there is a risk that they too will be blocked by the government.

“For the Russians, it’s very dramatic and very fast,” Soldatov said. “It means that people are not just trying to fit in, they’re trying to fight back.”

In several countries, autocrats have worked to exert more control over what their citizens see and do online, while also isolating them from outside views. Iran was cut off from the global internet for a week in 2019 as the government grappled with internal unrest. For years, China has trapped its citizens behind a “Great Firewall” of aggressive monitoring and censorship.

Russia’s independent media, which has been under siege for years, is subject to new repressions by Putin

But even two weeks ago, Russia’s internet was relatively free and integrated into the larger online world, allowing civil society to organize, opposition parties to get their message across, and ordinary Russians to have access to alternative news sources in an era of Putin’s stranglehold. nation’s free newspapers and broadcast stations.

Last year, now-imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny used YouTube to help launch a devastating exposé about his lavish lifestyle called “Putin’s Palace.” Recently, reports from Ukraine, including disturbing images of attacks on civilians and dead Russian soldiers, have flooded social media and online news sources, including Ukrainian news sites.

Ukraine’s bloody online campaign hopes to sow resentment against Putin

Patrick Boehler, head of digital strategy at Radio Free Europe, said that CrowdTangle data shows that independent news in Russian is shared more on social media than on state media around the world. According to him, once the Kremlin loses control over the story, it will be difficult to regain it.

Now the last freelance journalist posts are gone, and Internet options are increasingly squeezed by a combination of forces — all stemming from the war in Ukraine, but coming from both within Russia and abroad.

On March 4, Russia seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The fighting has sparked a firestorm and Vladimir Putin has called for “normalization” of global relations. (Video: Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

The domestic force came from Russian censor Roskomnadzor, which on Friday announced plans to block Facebook, which has been under pressure for several days now. In a post on the popular social media site Telegram, the agency accused Facebook of obstructing the free flow of information to Russia after taking steps to restrict fact-checking and state media in Europe. Roskomnadzor said that it sent similar letters to Google, the owner of TikTok and YouTube. Twitter has also confirmed that its service is restricted to some people in Russia.

Government censors also blocked access to the BBC, VOA, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Deutsche Welle, as well as to key Ukrainian websites. The BBC, CNN and other international news organizations have said they are suspending reporting in Russia because of a new law that could have given government officials up to 15 years in prison for publishing what they consider false about the war.

US technological superiority may or may not have an impact on Russia

At the same time, Western companies are increasingly reconsidering their business relations in Russia, in some cases preferring to stop services there. Microsoft said on Friday it was “suspending many aspects” of its business in Russia to comply with sanctions from the US, UK and European Union. Netscout, a Connecticut-based software provider, has announced that it will cease all support and services to Russian companies in compliance with the sanctions.

Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, initially pressured popular consumer companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google to withdraw their services from Russia. Now he’s focused on the companies that make the Internet itself work.

On Friday, Fedorov tweeted that he had sent a letter to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos urging Amazon to stop providing cloud services in Russia. He sent a similar letter to Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, an internet services company that specializes in protecting websites from online attacks. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

“Cloudflare should not protect Russian web resources while their tanks and missiles attack our kindergartens,” he tweeted earlier this week.

The Cogent move itself broke part of the Internet’s vaunted “backbone”—the most important structural element in maintaining the global flow of information. “A major carrier disconnecting its customers in a country the size of Russia is unprecedented in Internet history,” Doug Madory, an analyst at monitoring firm Kentik, wrote in a blog post.

Cogent’s move to cut ties with Russian customers took effect Friday and was supposed to be spread over several days to allow some customers to find alternative sources, the company said.

However, the company clearly wrote in its letters to its Russian customers: “In light of the unwarranted and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, Cogent is suspending all your services from 17:00 GMT on March 4, 2022. Economic sanctions are applied. As a result of the invasion and the increasingly uncertain security situation, it is impossible for Cogent to continue serving you.”

“Microsoft” company stopped its sales in Russia, dealing a big blow to the Russian economy

Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer said the company does not want to keep ordinary Russians off the Internet, but wants to prevent the Russian government from using Cogent’s networks to launch cyberattacks or propaganda targeting wartime Ukraine.

“Our goal is not to harm anyone. This is simply to prevent the Russian government from having another weapon in their war chests.”

Russia itself appears to be trying to strike a balance between appeasing its own people and retaliating against US tech companies. The country’s Facebook block did not apply to WhatsApp and Instagram, two services owned by the same parent company, Meta, and more popular among Russians. Instagram is used by celebrities, influencers and members of the Russian elite. WhatsApp is widely used for calls and daily communication.

In addition, Telegram, founded by Russian entrepreneurs who have since moved their headquarters out of the country, is still protected. He can gain protection by being the leading source of information for all parties. The company has not cut off the government’s RT channel or other sources of propaganda. Opposition content, as well as content from Ukrainians seeking to influence opinion in Russia, remains available on Telegram.

The Russian government has been moving steadily for years to exert more control over the Internet, including passing laws that allow Roskomnadzor to cut off the local Internet and exercise more control over Web architecture. The government has also forced media organizations that receive funding from outside the country to label themselves as “foreign agents,” and unofficially, state organizations have purchased most independent media channels.

Russians say it’s still possible to find factual, independent sources of information in the country — largely thanks to the Internet and social media — but that’s a problem at a time when people are increasingly struggling with a sanctions-hit economy and government crackdowns on free speech. . Several people in the country agreed to speak only if their names and other identifying information were not published.

“You have to be a sophisticated news consumer to find reliable information,” said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “It takes extra effort to act differently from the Kremlin’s point of view.”

But the risks go beyond news and information — even at this highly charged, sensitive moment.

Ukrainian officials have lobbied American Internet companies to cut services from Russia and have also asked ICANN, the California-based nonprofit organization that oversees aspects of Internet functions worldwide, to suspend Russia’s top Internet domain, .ru.

ICANN rejected the request on Wednesday, but other forms of possible disconnection, such as an escalation of the war and increased global sanctions to punish Russia for its aggression, appear to be ongoing risks.

Runa Sandvik, a security consultant and developer of the Tor Project to evade censorship, said Tor use is growing and many Russians are adept at using it and VPNs and sharing news from elsewhere in small groups.

But he said the direction things are going is exciting.

“We are moving towards the point where Russia has the same Internet environment as China,” Sandvik said.

Elizabeth Dwoskin contributed to this report.



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