Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty | Aynne Kokas

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William J. Perry Conference Room

About the Event: In Trafficking Data, Aynne Kokas looks at how technology firms in the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, have exploited government policy (and the lack thereof) to gather information on citizens. Kokas argues that US government leadership failures, Silicon Valley's disruption fetish, and Wall Street's addiction to growth have fueled China's technological gold rush. DrawIn turn, American complacency yields an unprecedented opportunity for Chinese firms to gather data in the United States and quietly send it back to China, and by extension, to the Chinese government. Drawing on years of fieldwork in the US and China and a large trove of 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.

About the Speaker: Aynne Kokas is the C.K. Yen Professor at the Miller Center, the director of the UVA East Asia Center, and an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Hollywood Made China (University of California Press, 2017) is Kokas’ multiple-award-winning first book. Her newest book is Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Her writing and commentary have appeared globally in more than 50 countries and 15 languages. In the United States, her research and writing appear regularly in media outlets including CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, The Washington Post, and Wired. She has testified before the Senate Finance Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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