Technology has become increasingly important to policy debates, but these debates won’t be productive without an understanding of how the technology in question works. AEI Visiting Fellow Shane Tews interviews tech industry experts to explain how the apps, services, and structures of today’s information technology systems work, and how they shape our social and economic life.
How data privacy laws have upended international trade (with Nigel Cory)
As countries impose new requirements on data collection and governance, the flow of consumer data between countries and business entities is more restricted than ever. For companies that need to comply with these new regulations, it can be challenging to build compliance tools around a patchwork of national laws without upending their fundamental business models. What does the regulatory landscape of today’s data governance world look like? And where, if at all, can regulators, trade experts, and multinational companies find common ground?
On this episode, https://www.aei.org/profile/shane-tews/ (Shane) is joined by https://itif.org/person/nigel-cory (Nigel Cory), associate director for trade policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Nigel discusses how different privacy regimes both in the US and across the globe complicate digital trade, and why there are more barriers to data flows today than ever before.
How are tech firms weathering the challenges of today’s market? (with John Godfrey)
Today, technology companies are facing some of their largest security, supply chain, and regulatory threats ever. Members of Congress, the administration, and Federal Trade Commission are trying to require that firms allow anyone, anywhere to repair their consumer devices — at a high cost to product quality and individual security. Meanwhile, cyberattacks and data breaches are on the rise, and while trying to get next-generation 5G products off the ground, both software and hardware providers are facing massive semiconductor chip shortages. How are large tech companies navigating these challenges?
On this episode, https://www.aei.org/profile/shane-tews/ (Shane) is joined by https://techsummit.olemiss.edu/team/john-m-godfrey/ (John Godfrey), Samsung’s acting head of US public affairs and leader of their Washington, DC team. A broadband expert by trade, John is well-versed in a number of issues important to Samsung including “right to repair,” semiconductors, and 5G. John joins the podcast to discuss how Samsung views new regulatory initiatives on Capitol Hill, congressional funding for semiconductor production, and the growth of 5G wireless in the US and beyond.
Understanding the ‘splinternet’ and online security (with Nick Merrill)
The potential for a fragmented, decentralized global internet (or “splinternet”) is a concern on many levels. Two aspects of internet governance are at play here: the technical aspects of connectivity (or lack thereof), and content delivery — in essence, what material is permitted, censored, or filtered. As China, Russia, and authoritarian-leaning regimes advance top-down visions of the internet that reflect their national interests, will the internet fragment further? And what would moving away from the status quo of a free, open internet mean for global cybersecurity?
To help make sense of these complex questions, https://www.aei.org/profile/shane-tews/ (Shane) is joined by https://cltc.berkeley.edu/about-us/researchers/nick-merrill/ (Nick Merrill), director of the https://daylight.berkeley.edu/ (Daylight Security Research Lab) at the University of California, Berkeley’s https://cltc.berkeley.edu/ (Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity). In addition to recent national news appearances, Nick’s work includes https://cltc.berkeley.edu/internet-atlas/ (The Internet Atlas) — a visual indicator of the global internet’s structural risks. He joins the podcast to discuss how individual countries’ internet governance decisions shape user experiences and the global cybersecurity landscape.
‘Privacy by design’: How to engineer better data governance (with Nishant Bhajaria)
Efforts to legislate data protection (or “privacy”) have become a top priority in the US and Europe. But the real issue at hand is data governance — namely the collection, storage, and deletion of data that companies collect about customers. These companies, especially those whose mobile digital applications collect location data, contacts, and other personal information, now face a patchwork of potential legislation to regulate data access and retention. But what if engineers and corporate leaders could work together to limit data collection risks before their products come to market? And what if privacy protections could evolve to meet consumer preferences around information gathering and sharing by both companies and third-party vendors? Would there be more understanding of how the information is used and less concern over the security of the data retained by these companies?
On this episode, https://www.aei.org/profile/shane-tews/ (Shane) is joined by https://qconsf.com/sf2019/speakers/nishant-bhajaria (Nishant Bhajaria), Uber’s head of technical privacy and governance. Nishant’s upcoming book, https://www.manning.com/books/privacy-engineering (Privacy Engineering) (releasing in August), will offer a roadmap for company executives and engineers to equip their products with greater built-in privacy protections while increasing transparency and accountability for users. Nishant joins the podcast to share points of interest from his book and explain what industry leaders stand to gain from improved data governance.
The future of IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines and beyond (with Michael Rosen)
Intellectual property (IP) has been a hot topic due to the Biden administration’s support of a proposal to waive the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Some argue IP protections incentivized vaccine manufacturers to produce what are now the world’s antidotes to the pandemic. But others say these protections are slowing down global vaccination and distribution rates — especially in the developing world. Why did the administration take this stance, and what might this signal about its approach to other IP issues?
On this episode, https://www.aei.org/profile/shane-tews/ (Shane) is joined by AEI Adjunct Fellow https://www.aei.org/profile/michael-rosen/ (Michael Rosen) — a frequent author on IP-related incentives for innovation, and on patent reform in Congress and at the US Patent and Trademark Office. He joins the podcast to discuss the state of IP policy, what the administration’s TRIPS waiver stance means for the future of innovation and public health, and how this issue acts as a proxy for the challenges of IP innovation in technology.
The race for quantum computing superiority (with Klon Kitchen)
Due to their ability to calculate multiple complex variables at the same time, quantum computers are poised to permanently change how technology exists in society. But with the advent of quantum computing comes several risks to the US across a range of fields, including national security. How can the US sufficiently advance its quantum computing capabilities and manage the risks that come with them?
On this episode, Shane is joined by Klon Kitchen, an AEI resident fellow in foreign and defense policy. Klon writes frequently on the intersection of technology and national security, and recently published an AEI report titled “Quantum computing: A national security primer.” He joins the podcast to discuss this report and explain what’s at stake for the US in the race for quantum computing superiority.