U.S.-Based Tech Firms May Lose Big Due To PRISM

    August 6, 2013
    Zach Walton
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Cloud computing and storage is a multi-billion dollar business. Companies all over the world turn to Google, Microsoft and others to process and store their sensitive data. Corporate privacy policies ensure that this data remains secret, but that might not remain the case when the NSA comes knocking.

A new study out of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation has found that the recent revelations regarding PRISM – the NSA’s system of obtaining information from U.S.-based tech firms – has some foreign companies hesitant to do business with the likes of Google and Microsoft. Even before PRISM was leaked, there was already concern in the European community over how much information was being stored with American companies.

That concern has now exploded into outright rejection as many European politicians and companies are calling for a boycott of American tech firms. The ITIF’s findings jibe with a recent poll conducted by The Cloud Security Alliance that found that 10 percent of 207 non-U.S. based tech firms had canceled their plans to utilize U.S.-based cloud services. Another 56 percent said that they were less likely to use those services.

Overall, things are looking grim for the cloud computing business in the U.S. The ITIF report says that U.S.-based cloud services might lose a minimum of $21.5 billion over the next three years as more companies move their business to European and Asian tech firms. In a worst case scenario, the report says that U.S.-based cloud services could lose up to $35 billion by 2016.

The ITIF ends its report with two recommendations for the U.S. government that it thinks will help restore faith in the nation’s tech industry:

First, U.S. government needs to proactively set the record straight about what information it does and does not have access to and how this level of access compares to other countries. To do this effectively, it needs to continue to declassify information about the PRISM program and allow companies to reveal more details about what information has been requested of them by the government. The economic consequences of national security decisions should be part of the debate, and this cannot happen until more details about PRISM have been revealed.

Second, the U.S. government should work to establish international transparency requirements so that it is clear what information U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based companies are disclosing to both domestic and foreign governments. For example, U.S. trade negotiators should work to include transparency requirements in trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated with the EU.

Some in the United States government are working to make the NSA more transparent, but they are constantly opposed by the Obama administration and the leaders of both parties in Congress. They argue that the NSA should remain unopposed and shrouded in secrecy for the safety of the nation. Opponents may want to start arguing that there’s safety in economic stability and keeping the NSA shrouded in secrecy threatens one of the nation’s fastest growing businesses.

  • Reality ….

    People in this country think there are no ramifications for the things our government does. We listen way to much to our media over here. If you read what the media is saying in foreign countries about the US, you will get an entirely different picture of the United States.

    Of course, foreign companies are going to pull out of the US. Nobody trusts the United States. If the the United States is not careful, one day they just might find the rest of the world ganging up on us.

    I don’t know how many people out there were alive in the 70s and 80, but if you remember we bashed the Soviet Union for: bombing foreign countries, spying on their citizens, for their high rates of incarceration, for their foreign policy. Well, now we are the ones doing those very same things. Do you really think the rest of the world has not noticed?

    • http://menagenrj.ca/menage-a-domicile/femme-de-menage-montreal/ Raphael

      The United States a free country or latter to actually pray over and she took reverse the true meaning of freedom in this country is synonymous with the jungle that holds the power engulfed him who is helpless unfortunately it is human reality

  • http://www.osmenage.com compagnie de ménage

    Those who are from us country they should trust to their government because whatever the step they will take definitely will be profitable to the country people.

  • GH Crosby

    One door closes, another opens. So now, people are running away from US cloud services. But it’s not just because of NSA. The law says we lose the “expectation of privacy” for files stored online more than 180 days. Plus, all the providers, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox, etc. all say in their terms that they will look at our content only to help them, and their affiliates, “improve” their services, i.e., find bigger and faster ways into our wallets. Plus, try to delete something once it’s online. They keep backups forever. When it comes to cloud services, what goes up never comes down.
    So what’s the door that’s opening? It’s for private cloud devices like the Cloudlocker (cloudlocker.it) which stays in your house where no one can get to it without a warrant issued on probable cause you’re a bad guy. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Hopefully, we’ll see more products like this to help ordinary people protect what little of our privacy we have left.

    • I Half Agree

      I wholeheartedly agree with your premise that there will be other services. You are definitely right.

      However, I think people are kidding themselves about warrantless searches. Due to the Patriot Act, you can be searched at any time for any reason. On top of that, the FISA courts did not deny one request made of them to search people. Not enough people have read the full Patriot Acts. Tyranny may come to this country because of them.

      I do agree though with pretty much everything you said. I just think it is too late for us.

      Things have fundamentally changed in the US. Foreign countries have realized this. I have friends from around the globe and believe me their thoughts on our country are totally different than what our media portrays. In a very real way, Americans are in a collective delusion about what is happening in the US.