Andrew Miller points out that European companies afraid of US industrial espionage just got far less likely to use American internet companies for communications and cloud data storage. American companies can be…
Andrew Miller points out that European companies afraid of US industrial espionage just got far less likely to use American internet companies for communications and cloud data storage.
American companies can be compelled by ‘National Security Letters’ from government agencies to turn over the data of non-US citizens, at will and without a warrant.
Neelie Kroes, the European Commission vice president of Digital Affairs Neelie Kroes, observed, according to Miller, “If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out . . . Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?”
Netherlands-based search engine Ixquick already advertises, “No PRISM. No Surveillance. No Government Back Doors. You Have our Word on it,” taking advantage of news that Google and other US internet firms have been forced to meet thousands of requests a year by American government agencies for private data of users.
Presumably the same considerations might hurt US internet firms in Brazil, the world’s 6th-largest country and also a prime target for US electronic espionage. Brazilians are second only to the US in the number of people who use Facebook and YouTube, both American firms subject to the National Security Letters. In addition, an American telecom firm has been partnering with Brazilian companies, then providing the US government a back door into Brazilian customers’ data.
The revelations of US/British spying via sniffers on transatlantic fiber optics cables (Tempora) on email and telephone calls of Germany and other European countries has also given the Europeans the upper hand in negotiations with the US over privacy standards in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement (TTIP).
German telecom companies are not allowed to store connection data, and can only keep billing data for six months. Leaker Edward Snowden revealed that the connection data (who people call, for how long, and where they were when they did it) for Verizon business accounts were being demanded by the NSA for all of the US every 3 months.
Hmm. If the NSA PRISM and TEMPORA programs really do cost US firms billions of dollars, there is some hope they’ll buy some congressmen to roll them back. The lord knows that if they do get their wings clipped, it won’t be just because they contravene the Fourth Amendment rights of US residents.