Technology has always played a role in global affairs, encouraging trade, cooperation, and competition among nations. Today’s tech giants, however, are not just influential bystanders in the international arena. They have become peers to global political powers, sometimes going toe-to-toe with state actors. Digital technology, software engineering, and big data companies often find themselves as the gatekeepers of crucial national security information and technology.
How can the U.S. government best cooperate with tech giants to achieve national security aims and stymie adversaries like China? What strategies have state actors like the U.S., China, and Europe employed to grapple with the rise of big tech? Klon Kitchen joins Adam to consider these themes and discuss his recent essay, “The New Superpowers: How and Why the Tech Industry is Shaping the International System” featured in National Affairs’ special issue, “Big Tech, Big Government: The Challenges of Regulating Internet Platforms.” Klon is the Director for the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Technology Policy. His newsletter, the Kitchen Sync, offers regular updates technology and global affairs.