Global Free Flow of Information
The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force
is examining issues related to the global free flow of information on the Internet, specifically policies that restrict information flows on the Internet. The Task Force is examining why these restrictions have been instituted; what, if any, impact they have had on innovation, economic development, global trade and
investment; and how best to address negative impacts.
Commerce Brings Stakeholders Together to Improve Digital Economy Metrics
Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) convened a roundtable to discuss what data is needed to better measure the economic importance of the cross-border information flows that connect people and businesses across the globe. Representatives from the government, private sector, academia, and public interest community spent the morning going through existing resources, identifying gaps, and evaluating what the Commerce Department could be doing to improve its digital economy metrics.
The Internet has connected people around the world in new ways through the free flow of information across borders. In 2014, approximately 56 percent of services exports and 50 percent of U.S. services imports were digitally deliverable. Modern day companies of all sizes are relying on cross-border data flows for their day to day operations. This includes the ability to access global markets, interact with customers across the globe, find new suppliers, and communicate with their overseas affiliates. For example, of 271 tech‐enabled startups surveyed by 1776 and the McKinsey Global Institute, 86 percent had at least one cross‐border activity. People are using cross-border data flows to access knowledge, communicate, and participate in electronic commerce.
Agenda for the Roundtable on Measuring Cross-Border Data Flows: Unmet Data Needs
Over the past several months, Commerce has been talking to stakeholders, reviewing literature, and identifying the strengths and potential shortcomings of the existing data and research on cross-border data flows. The goal of this roundtable is to get input from stakeholders on what additional data and analysis on cross-border data flows is necessary.