McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld

Author: Misha Glenny
This Month Hacker News 2


by DyslexicAtheist   2018-03-27
anyone interested in the how the Mafia has gone global like any other multinational I highly recommend McMafia (the book not the Netflix series)

The Guardian writes

"The effects of the Russian organised crime boom have been experienced as far afield as Tel Aviv and New York, and all parts of Europe. In this reading, the East is little more than an opportunistic supplier to the West's insatiable demand. 'Organised crime is such a rewarding industry,' writes Glenny, ' ... because ordinary Western Europeans spend an ever burgeoning amount of their spare time and money sleeping with prostitutes; smoking untaxed cigarettes; sticking €50 notes up their noses; employing illegal untaxed immigrant labour on subsistence wages; admiring ivory and sitting on teak; or purchasing the liver and kidneys of the desperately poor in the developing world.'"

by DyslexicAtheist   2018-03-24
The media discusses voter-profile harvesting mostly in a past context of Brexit and US elections. These countries are politically stable. A far more dangerous picture paints itself in emerging and poor economies.

For example FB recently announced it would roll out job-posts[1] for low-income workers.

In poor parts of Europe like Croatia, Serbia, BiH & Balkans (where I chose to live and work as a foreigner), many people use Facebook to find work and network w/ colleagues. In these locations facebook is the Internet. Often you usually accept a friend request before you are able to discuss a job.

FB job market will lock in users from those regions even further. These economies don't stand a chance and are already bled dry thanks to facebook & Co not paying their taxes. These locations already suffering a huge braindrain of local talent.

Their local society / governments are becoming increasingly corrupt[2] because and honest work opportunities are so scarce some people (like nurses or occupational therapists helping the elderly and disabled) even work for free[3] (I know several people who have the choice of working for free or not be able to graduate).

So many people just leave to the North where they find themselves in slave-labor like conditions in Germany[4]. (sorry for switching focus to Germany for a second I'm trying to show some causality). It's not limited to healthcare. Literally any industry has setups where shady middle-man benefit from Germanys "Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz" (yes that's a word) which is Germany's outsourcing law (a law criticized for creating a dual class workforce) and they are making a killing thanks to the many loopholes present to exploit foreigners/minorities.

When facebook rolls out it's job postings for low-skilled and low-paid jobs it's targeting the most vulnerable minorities in politically volatile regions.

One takeaway from the facebook/CA election meddling is that because majority of people in Balkans are already depending on facebook, it's even easier to spread disinformation and rig elections. And it's giving powers to local crime gangs which usually influence 100% of the electorate[5]. Ask yourself what data harvesting means in these regions, who benefits and what effects this might have 3-5 years from now.


by olivermarks   2017-11-07
Recommend Misha Glenny if you haven't read his work. < From 2008