In Trafficking Data, Aynne Kokas examines how technology firms in the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, exploit government policy (and the lack thereof) to gather information on citizens, putting American national security at risk. She argues that U.S. government leadership failures, Silicon Valley’s disruption preoccupation, and Wall Street’s addiction to growth have fueled China’s technological gold rush. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in the two countries and numerous corporate and policy documents, Trafficking Data explains how China is fast becoming the global leader in internet governance and policy, and thus of the data that defines our public and private lives.

In an interview conducted on October 11, 2022, Aynne Kokas, in conversation with Silvia Lindtner, argues that American complacency provides Chinese firms the opportunity to gather data in the United States and send it back to China, and by extension, to the Chinese government.

About the speakers