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Reviews: The Information Trade

“Wichowski’s detailed reporting and careful attention to the big picture makes 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.” - Publishers Weekly 

 

“Wichowski notes that infrastructure improvements are likelier to be made by net states than “real” ones, all with a clear eye toward a future in which they are truly sovereign. She concludes her eminently accessible, deeply researched exploration by proposing that business models change so that consumers can more easily protect their data—but for a price, for “if our data, privacy, and sense of power are precious to us, then we need to offer something else that’s valuable. And just about everyone values money.” Civil libertarians as well as geopolitics buffs and tech geeks will find much of value here.” - Kirkus 

“Wichowski’s analysis strikes a healthy balance: acknowledging all the wonders of our interconnected electronic world (and this was before they became lifesavers in a pandemic), while warning of their real and potential dangers…(her) presentation is authoritative yet accessible, friendly, and direct.” - Washington Independent Review of Books

“An excellent, provocative, and even visionary (book) on the role of tech in traditionally government spheres of activity…an incredibly influential voice in shaping our free society as it navigates the disruptive waves of technology.” - Mark Fowler, former Chair, FCC

“We live in a time where decision-makers, industries and citizens alike are struggling to comprehend the real consequences of emerging technologies and data-driven business models. Alexis Wichowski offers an important framework for accessing how this new digital reality is shaping power structures, locally and globally. Her analysis of why governments need to engage more with the so-called ‘Net States’ to combat e.g. human rights violations online and protect privacy is an insightful one. Equally important is the need for the industry to step up and take on much more responsibility. Alexis Wichowski understands how the mechanisms of how ‘Big Tech’ challenges us as societies, and what we need to do about it. I recommend The Information Trade to anyone interested in the intersection between technology, politics and global affairs." - Ambassador Casper Klynge, Danish Ambassador to Technology

“Alexis Wichowski is a wonderfully tireless investigator of the Internet’s Great Powers, what she calls ‘net states.’ But as she follows the money (and the power), she also illuminates the fundamental questions of digital life: Who are we, really, when we are online? And how are we changing?” - Scott Malcomson, author of Splinternet

 “If you're looking for a highly engaging and informative read about how big tech has gained the power of nation states and is in the process of transforming our world, look no further. Alexis Wichowski weaves a phenomenal narrative in her new book that shows a stubborn desire to research the underlying facts to support the topics at hand. Read it and dog ear the pages. You'll reference it later.” – Adam Zuckerman, University of Maryland

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“This book is pro-technology and emphasizes the value of technology in our daily lives. It’s pro-privacy and always focused on what’s best for the user. It’s pro-government and describes the unique and critical role government plays in protecting us. Wichowski presents a clear and unique viewpoint that integrates these seemingly inconsistent—but clearly correct—viewpoints into a coherent story that captures the problem with a nuance and constructively positive outlook I haven’t seen anywhere else.” – Chad Mills, Facebook

“Alexis Wichowski’s The Information Trade is a timely, compelling, and expertly researched passport to the tech companies that rule today’s digital landscape. With accessible real-world examples and clever connect-the-dots analysis, Wichowski pinpoints the causes responsible for the ever-increasing effects that these companies are having on our daily lives.”  - Blake Harris, author of Console Wars

“In The Information Trade, Wichowski details how big tech firms don’t just compete with each other—they compete with governments. In an important way, Wichowski demonstrates how little “public service”, civic engagement and democratic duties these firms take up given their role in our economy, their control of information infrastructure, and their profitability. The technology firms have such an important role in managing our economic, political and cultural lives that we need to assert rights as citizen-users if we expect meaningful protections of our freedom.” - Philip N. Howard, author of Lie Machines, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute