Thursday, June 11, 2015

NSA spying is going to cost the tech sector much more than we thought

NSA surveillance is going to cost the U.S. tech sector a lot more than originally thought.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington, D.C. -based think tank that advocates for policies that nurture technology innovation, has released a new report in which it raises its previous estimate of how much surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community could cost U.S. tech companies.

In 2013, the non-partisan group estimated that the NSA-related revelations stemming from Edward Snowden’s 2013 leak would scare away foreign customers in the cloud computer sector to the tune of as much as $35 billion in business. The new report says that figure is too low, and that the economic reverberations will “likely far exceed” that initial $35 billion estimate, although the report wasn’t more specific on a final figure. “The reason we can’t cap it is because there’s no end in sight [to the losses],” Daniel Castro, a co-writer of the study, said in an interview with Fortune. Without action on the part of the U.S. government to limit the surveillance practices that concern foreign tech clients, Castro said foreign markets will continue to penalize U.S. companies.

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