Restricting Data Flows: When Is It Legitimate Policy, and When Is It Unjustified Protectionism?

May 9, 2016

There has been increasing concern in recent years about the purported rise of “digital protectionism,” when countries implement policies that limit digital trade such as requiring data on their citizens to be stored within their borders or censoring certain online content. While some argue these policies hurt digital trade and commerce, others contend they are justified on privacy and security grounds. No one disputes that digital trade is an essential component of the 21st century economy, however, so it is critical to establish a clearer definition of just what constitutes unwarranted protectionism and under what circumstances governments are justified in limiting cross-border data flows.

Please join ITIF for a debate between ITIF President Rob Atkinson and George Washington University Professor Susan Aaronson.