Rana Foroohar

Global Business Columnist, Financial Times 

Dark Power: Big Tech’s Global Undertow

About the Topic

“Big Tech firms are now the richest and most powerful companies on the face of the planet,” writes Rana Foroohar. Five digital giants alone have market capitalizations greater than that of France: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. As globalization facilitated the easy movement of money, Big Tech’s currency - data - moves “like quicksilver,” shifting jobs, capital and profits around the world. Unregulated, Big Tech is free of the burdens of rising inequality, skill shortages or populism that challenge nations. Critics warn that it has crushed competition, abused consumers’ data, and enabled hate speech. Yet as governments struggle to regulate Big Tech, many also use it to spread disinformation at home and abroad. According to the Oxford Internet Institute, Facebook is the preferred propaganda platform. Are the tech giants a force undermining global stability? What measures might ensure digital innovation and democratic values while mitigating the ills of Big Tech? And what is the outlook for a "splinternet" as nations fight to control the way Big Tech is regulated?

About the Speaker

Rana Foroohar is the global business columnist and associate editor for the Financial Times. She is also CNN's global economic analyst. Previously, Foroohar served as economic columnist and assistant managing editor for business and economics at TIME. She spent 13 years at Newsweek, as an economic and foreign affairs editor and as a foreign correspondent covering Europe and the Middle East. Foroohar is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisory board member of the Open Markets Institute. Her most recent book is Do No Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles and All of Us (2019). One reviewer urged, “This book should be read by every policymaker both in the United States and around the world.”