NSA's Data Spying Driving Tech Business Overseas | TechWell

NSA's Data Spying Driving Tech Business Overseas

Consumers are putting more and more personal information online. Bank accounts, Social Security numbers, and a bevy of private details are stored both on computers and the ever-expanding cloud, creating a greater need for tighter security standards across the board.

However, if the National Security Agency’s power to spy on customers isn’t somehow reduced in the near future, major tech companies can expect continued pushback from the people. The New America Foundation reports that the cloud-computing industry might be in real danger if things don’t change.

Detractors often argue that a megacompany like Microsoft has yet to see sizable losses from the NSA’s touch. But the Information and Technology Innovation Foundation claims that US technology companies could lose $35 billion in just three years if foreign customers with concerns about spy programs choose non-American goods.

Data like this has forced Microsoft to join Yahoo and Google to demand greater NSA restrictions from the government. The push from such major companies has been heard; both Democratic and Republican senators are fighting to introduce a bill that would restrict the NSA to narrower searches of records about private phone calls and shine a brighter light on the government’s spying administration.

Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft's Azure are some of the most prominent cloud-based destinations, but international companies with questions about security are now turning to Switzerland and other foreign locations to store their most personal data.

Artmotion, Switzerland's biggest offshore hosting company, experienced a 45 percent revenue boost just a month after the NSA information was leaked. Companies don’t want the government’s hand poking and prodding in their clouds, and unless the proposed legislation takes effect soon, a greater economic impact is expected in the United States.

The United States is not the only country with government involvement in stored data. British cell phone company Vodafone posits that authorities in a handful of countries have the power to directly access an operator's network without seeking permission. In an even smaller subset of locations, an operator’s network can be bypassed without first being given a warrant.

At this very moment, your credit card may be tied to a dozen different websites, ranging from Netflix to Kohl’s. Despite transactions becoming increasingly more simplified through digital means, significant backlash and a subsequent retreat from unsecured locations could be possible if the NSA isn’t put on a leash.

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