The Information Trade: How Big Tech Conquers Countries, Challenges Our Rights, and Transforms Our World

Alexis Wichowsk. HarperOne, $27.99 (294p) ISBN 978-0-06-288898-3
Wichowski, an adjunct professor of technology at Columbia University, reveals how “net states” (“tech entities that act like countries”) are changing “defense, diplomacy, public infrastructure, and citizen services,” in this eye-opening debut. Examining recent acquisitions made by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Tesla, Wichowski explores the roles that major tech companies now play in space travel, health monitoring, biotech, and manufacturing. She describes how the original “tech ethos” of “creat[ing] some good in the world” now drives net states to take on huge projects, such as providing new energy infrastructure in Puerto Rico and investing in asteroid mining companies, where they act like sovereign states but lack the permanence and accountability of governments. Wichowski warns that the status quo, in which “citizen-users” of tech platforms must “relinquish their right to privacy” is unsustainable, and proposes a Declaration of Citizen-User Rights for reclaiming personal power that’s been given away in exchange for convenience. Wichowski’s detailed reporting and careful attention to the big picture make for a quick and thought-provoking reading experience. This erudite analysis should be required reading for tech CEOs, policy makers, and everyone concerned about the ubiquity of a handful of companies in their daily lives. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/10/2019
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-288905-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-1410-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-1411-8
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