NSA protesters in San Francisco

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about government surveillance have already shaken up the U.S. intelligence and foreign policy establishments. Now, the leaks may also be affecting Silicon Valley’s bottom line. Technology companies have reported losing contracts due to clients’ concerns over entrusting their data to U.S. firms. How big a hit will tech take?

Claire Cain Miller, domestic correspondent for The New York Times

  • Guest

    If the tech industry comes to be harmed by its having made users less secure or by its collaborating with government spies then it deserves what it gets. Innocent people have come to significant harm by what tech companies have done. For instance, Microsoft collaborated with the NSA to wait a period of time before letting antivirus companies know about significant vulnerabilities in its software. Why? Because the NSA wanted to exploit those vulnerabilities to break into computers. The problem is, this let criminals do the same.

    Tech companies have also been very lax in implementing the most basic protections to keep their users from having their data and identities stolen. Yahoo for instance made it very easy for crooks to read your emails if you accessed a Yahoo Mail account at a public wifi hotspot. To the extent that tech companies put people in harm’s way, they should be punished with lost business and class action lawsuits, and perhaps criminal charges. Tech companies can pretend melodramatically that they were opposed to spying, but it now seems they were a part of the NSA’s programs all along. It was a conspiracy, plain and simple.

    No wonder that the Establishment makes such an effort to demonize anyone who speaks of conspiracies, in the way the Catholic church once demonized Galileo. It’s because there really are serious, criminal conspiracies.

    “NSA: Tech Companies Knew We Were Spying on You All Along”

    German gov’t: Windows 8 contains possible backdoor for NSA, Chinese.

    • Chuck

      Free speech should include the right to speak privately if it is to be meaningful and what greater intrusion on privacy and violation of the 4th amendment can there be than be than what we have.
      Even Lady Di Fi objects to spying on her.

      Absent a comprehensive privacy law with financial penalties for abusers, we will not be free; but this will never come from Congress.

  • Livegreen

    So what happens if there is going to be a terrorist incident that is electronically traced to Brazil or Norway? Those governments won’t help prevent it by helping the US or turning info over to U.S. investigators?

    Meanwhile Snowden first tried to flee to China, then to Russia where governments not only do E-surveillance. They actively arrest people b/c of that surveillance on a regular basis.

    Like Snowden, you can chose where you do business. There IS a reasonable median and we are not yet there.

    • Chuck

      Brazil and Norway will undoubtedly share information re terrorist but they may not spy on and maintain data bases on each of their citizens. Pervasive Spying and torture have not been necessary or effective in fighting terrorism.

      • Livegreen

        Not based on what the reporter said:
        a) She said they promised not to share information;
        b) She said nothing about maintaining databases on their own citizens;
        Neither have what I read about Snowden’s revelations.

        If you have additional info about either please give me a link. I’m happy to read & learn more about it. (Benefit of a free press! Unlike Russia or China…)

  • TK_PhD

    This lady seems disingenuous calling it Snowden’s revelations that are affecting silicon Valley business. Talk about shooting the messenger! Also, the extent that Silicon Valley is losing business is the extent that others are capitalizing on their inability to protect our information. That’s capitalism! If they want to earn back our trust they should come up with solutions for protecting our information (both software and hardware). Good encryption would go a long way. While no encryption is perfect, good encryption would at least require anyone who wants to look at the data to decrypt each data stream individually. The reason Silicon Valley won’t do this is because THEY want to continue to spy on us. THEY want to continue to mine our data to sell advertising and manipulate the public for profit in any way they see fit.

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