How NSA Revelations Are Affecting Businesses

When former NSA employee Edward Snowden decided in June 2013 to publish confidential documents that would reveal the extent of domestic surveillance in the United States, the probable economic impact of these revelations certainly were the least of his worries. While his decision basically forced him to live a life away from home for the foreseeable future, a public debate has erupted over the legitimacy and necessity of such surveillance measures. Whereas civil rights groups are outraged and accuse the intelligence agency of a severe violation of the First and Fourth amendments, the agency itself practices damage control and finds support in the administration and advocates of national security.

Cloud in Crisis

Meanwhile, these publications have some secondary and maybe unintended effects, as many online services and internet businesses are complaining about financial losses. Especially the cloud computing industry now fears for its future, since many customers and businesses do not wish to put their information at risk of being intercepted. This notion is especially rampant with customers and businesses in the European Union, which has had a healthy dose of suspicion with respect to US government activities. Now users and enterprises are actively avoiding the use of cloud services out of fear to basically present their information on a silver platter, when using US cloud providers. This development could also have a negative impact on the emergence of new online businesses.

Further Ramifications

Besides regular customers fearing that their cloud data will be scanned, European businesses also suspect that their data will be subject to industrial espionage. Together, these factors deprive cloud computing of the necessary impetus to help it become the big innovation that it is inherently. It remains to be seen how much the entire revelations have affected the economy in total. For those who have invested in internet businesses, monitoring stock rates and staying up to date with market developments should be the first priority. Stocks, rates and the latest news from the market can be found on Quotenet. As with intelligence, information is the basis of any business decision.

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