Saturday, March 22, 2014

Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies

The New York TImes writes Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies

The business effect of the disclosures about the N.S.A. is felt most in the daily conversations between tech companies with products to pitch and their wary customers. The topic of surveillance, which rarely came up before, is now ‘the new normal’ in these conversations, as one tech company executive described it.

“We’re hearing from customers, especially global enterprise customers, that they care more than ever about where their content is stored and how it is used and secured,” said John E. Frank, deputy general counsel at Microsoft, which has been publicizing that it allows customers to store their data in Microsoft data centers in certain countries.

A few points:

People blaming Snowden for this are blaming the messenger. The problem is the extent of the NSA's operations.

I think companies looking for tech companies out of the US are doing exactly the wrong thing. The NSA is prohibited from spying on the US and most of the things we've learned about them spying on US companies like Google and Yahoo is that they use these companies' foreign connections to spy on the data. They're looking at Google data because Google is huge and their targets probably use them but they're not getting the data from the US, they're getting it when Google sends data between data centers in different countries. There's nothing stopping the NSA from doing anything to a company that has no US footprint.

Finally if you really care about the location of your data, then cloud services are probably not for you regardless of where they are.

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