US Tech Giants to “Far Exceed” $35 Billion Loss in NSA Fallout

Of course, companies never lose money. They simply pass on the losses to their customers in the form of higher prices. The real expenses are paid by you, me, and by their other customers.

Silicon Valley is expected to take a harsher beating over claims it was working with US intelligence agencies. “Foreign customers are shunning US companies,” says a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) at http://goo.gl/LYQrTk. It states:

“Almost two years ago, ITIF described how revelations about pervasive digital surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community could severely harm the competitiveness of the United States if foreign customers turned away from U.S.-made technology and services. Since then, U.S. policymakers have failed to take sufficient action to address these surveillance concerns; in some cases, they have even fanned the flames of discontent by championing weak information security practices. In addition, other countries have used anger over U.S. government surveillance as a cover for implementing a new wave of protectionist policies specifically targeting information technology. The combined result is a set of policies both at home and abroad that sacrifices robust competitiveness of the U.S. tech sector for vague and unconvincing promises of improved national security.

“ITIF estimated in 2013 that even a modest drop in the expected foreign market share for cloud computing stemming from concerns about U.S. surveillance could cost the United States between $21.5 billion and $35 billion by 2016. Since then, it has become clear that the U.S. tech industry as a whole, not just the cloud computing sector, has under-performed as a result of the Snowden revelations. Therefore, the economic impact of U.S. surveillance practices will likely far exceed ITIF’s initial $35 billion estimate. This report catalogues a wide range of specific examples of the economic harm that has been done to U.S. businesses. In short, foreign customers are shunning U.S. companies. The policy implication of this is clear: Now that Congress has reformed how the National Security Agency (NSA) collects bulk domestic phone records and allowed private firms—rather than the government—to collect and store approved data, it is time to address other controversial digital surveillance activities by the U.S. intelligence community.”

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