NSA spying may be harming American tech companies’ bottom line


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Why yes it is - I removed Skype from my computer this very morning - no more business from me so long as you help your government spy on me


Excellent, excellent.

“The property of his subjects he will leave alone, for a man will sooner forgive the slaying of his father than the confiscation of his patrimony.”


Before anyone says it - this is not Snowden’s fault. This is the fault of the hubristic morons at the NSA who are actually abusing their power.

They were operating on the assumption that because a lot of the internet happens in the US right now, it will continue that way forever. That assumption is false, and they have gone a long way to ensuring that there will be a strong interest in setting things up differently and elsewhere.


Many American tech companies failed the American public, they deserve it.

I know I’ll never use Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. cloud services, etc. for sharing sensitive business plans, etc. with others. Why would I?


It’s not just loss of foreign business that will affect our tech companies. Until Congress makes a strong, unambiguous privacy law, AND we have assurance that our deceitful government will actually obey it, my personal data is out of the cloud. Have switched to a zero-knowledge online backup, and pulled my data out of Evernote into local storage.

Can anyone recommend a video chat that’s secure from intrusion?


Check out Jitsi, an open source SIP and XMPP client supporting encrypted text, voice, and video chat. Other more secure alternatives to mainstream software can be found at http://prism-break.org


Because they are easy to use and ubiquitous? Tech companies can fight, but there’s an equation under every fight: will the fight cost more than the compliance? In other words, to put money into a legal fight has to be less than the cost of consumer flight months or years down the line when they find out about it. And it’s a gamble. Some places will gamble and push back and other places will gamble and not push back. The root cause, though, isn’t the tech companies. The fault lies in the Agencies’ abuse of power, and deeper still, the fault is with Congress and the courts for enabling them. A level deeper, we elected them. And even deeper than that, corporate influences and our inability to rein in the military-industrial complex after WWII gave us the elections and propaganda cycle we enjoy today. We built this automaton. It’s the Day the Earth Stood Still. Until we shout out “Klaatu Baraata Nikto,” our robot will continue to destroy us.

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The fault lies in the Agencies’ abuse of power, and deeper still, the fault is with Congress and the courts for enabling them.

Why use such black and white thinking? The responsibility lies with the corporations and anyone who enables them. Please spare me the inane libertarian talking points where corporations aren’t responsible for any actions they do.

Corporations shrugging responsibility. It’s old, it’s tired and it’s wrong. It’s one of many core things that have fucked up the USA.

Because they are easy to use and ubiquitous?

Nope. The question still stands. Once again, why would I want to share my business secrets with corporations that have been proven to enable governmental and quasi-governmental entities to spy on average Americans and businesses?

Look, I already called this a while ago HERE: (06/11/2013)

When I said:

" … I wonder how many Americans are going to change their workflow and even possibly their business goals just so they can stop being spied on so readily by the United States of Corporations? … "

You may not have any valuable or sensitive data, but for those of us that do…

This mess is either confirming our business decisions or at least making us re-think them in regards to trusting American corporations with our data.

And, it’s what they deserve.

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I’ve been developing web applications in the United States since the mid-1990s, mostly freelance the last six years. Over the last several years I’ve noticed a growing reluctance from my international customers to have any of their data on servers located in the US, or in any country that is considered too much within the US sphere of power, like Canada, the UK, etc. This started long before any revelations via Snowden. The Patriot Act started it all, then in 2006 we found out that the US government had installed splitters at an ATT facility in San Francisco to essentially copy all Internet traffic. Then the US government started seizing servers and Internet domains, and went so far as to say that if it ends in .com, .net and .org it’s seizable. There has been a growing sense that since 9/11 the US has gone mad with fear regarding terrorism and copyright. Most of the rest of the world looks at us and doesn’t understand why we allow ourselves to be enslaved by these two fears when the odds of a US citizen dying from terrorism globally are 1 in 20 million, and when Hollywood has record profits. My customers mostly live in countries with tighter privacy and data protection laws than the US has ever even considered, and where, indeed, the US has actively intervened to try and loosen the privacy and data protection laws in those other countries. Considering all of these factors, as well as the growing number of alternatives, the revelations about the NSA, Five Eyes, etc., just sped up what was already a growing tidal wave. Besides, even if the NSA and the other government agencies only spied on foreigners, which we know isn’t true, that still leaves over 98% of the world’s population that shouldn’t trust us with their data. Just reigning the US government in to “only spy on foreigners” isn’t going to solve this problem at all, but it’s a start.


You misread what I wrote. “The root cause, though, isn’t the tech companies.” That is not the same as absolving them of guilt. It’s analysis. I’m no corporation apologist. I hate companies just as much as you do, except for the one that I own! heheheh.

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