Trade agreements today are the main source of rule-making at the global level, encompassing an expansive list of issues. These agreements cover a wide array of subjects that extend far beyond traditional trade matters. In the past, they have been effective tools for dominant industries to dilute or eliminate domestic policies and priorities, minimize regulatory costs, and maximize corporate interests. In most cases, trade agreements set constraints on domestic regulations, override regulatory safeguards, challenge domestic consumer protections, and weaken the leverage of local producers.
Network shutdowns impacting an entire country are now almost non-existent, but the practice of shutting down communications in certain cities or areas of a country, or suspending certain services continues globally. This has happened over the past decade or so for a variety of reasons, sometimes due to national security concerns but also to prevent the organisation of protests or the spread of civil unrest.