US Tech Firms Fight Spying, Protect Interests


In a worst case scenario, Forrester’s James Staten initially theorized that global cloud computing services could lose as much as $180 billion over the next three years. That dire figure has been widely circulated by media outlets, but Staten told The Associated Press he now believes chances are remote that losses will surpass $20 billion. That’s because he believes most companies around the world are already encrypting the vital information they store on the computers of outside vendors.

Wary of the U.S. government’s electronic espionage, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ordered a series of measures aimed at greater online independence and security for a country that boasts Latin America’s largest economy. Other countries and international regulators are considering strict rules for data-handling by U.S. tech companies. If that were to happen, it could cripple the companies’ drive to grow in overseas markets, and could fracture the Internet’s seamless inner-workings.

The NSA says it retrieves only the online data tied to people outside the U.S., a limitation that is of little solace to companies such as Google and Facebook that generate most of their revenue overseas and see the ripest opportunities for growth in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

While industry executives protest government’s intrusions on privacy, industry critics point out that technology companies continue to store and analyze troves of personal information in pursuit of more profit.

Crisis communications expert Gene Grabowski believes the companies regret their initial decision to cooperate with the government. “It appears to more than a few people that they betrayed their customers,” said Grabowski, an executive vice president for the public relations firm Levick.

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Posted by on Jan 3rd, 2014 and filed under Techline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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