International tensions linked to border disputes and the anticipated scarcity of natural resources flare into a series of major conflicts over the period 2015-2020 on almost every continent. These conflicts lead to international security measures that create major physical and economic barriers to trade, depressing the global economy and dramatically limiting the movement of people.
The emergence of regional trading alliances and the eventual acceptance of “secure trading routes” ensure that vital goods can still move around the world, but the need for physical protection of convoys from pirates and rogue, state-sponsored attacks, mean that internationally traded goods are extremely expensive, putting huge stress on vulnerable populations in resource-importing economies.
Despite a 2025 international moratorium on attacks on airliners air travel is restricted, very costly and viewed by many as foolhardy.
With many countries in a state of war and fearful of internal instability, national governments exert increasing control over the internet, freedom of speech and the right to assembly for national security reasons.
Almost all countries insist user activity online is monitored and logged with unique identifiers, and any attempt to circumvent online security protocols and browse anonymously is punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment. Much of the private sector is focusing on corporate survival in a volatile world.