The Edward Snowden case (bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22837100) has had and still has a great impact on Americans and not only did he reveal vital info about how everyone in the United States is actually monitored, but also that their e-mails,telephone conversations and many other things that they do online, are constantly examined.
This has actually rose a lot of questions, but at the same time, given the fact that just this Thursday Lavabit was forced to close(edition.cnn.com/2013/08/09/tech/web/snowden-email-lavabit), it makes many people who entrust their most precious personal information to the cloud services, feel insecure about their decision.
Not only that, but the companies offering these types of services have also reacted, saying that they are going to lose billions of dollars due to the fact that customer data can be turned to the United States authorities at any time. There are also many European and UK businesses that have now become even more reluctant and using cloud services with servers in the United States.
The cloud computing companies have argued that they will lose between 21.5-35 billion dollars in cloud technology contracts all over the world over the next 3 years and this only stems from the fallout from the National Security Agency revelations.
There are also many companies in the US that said they have already lost their clients, while rivals in the United Kingdom said that the EU and UK businesses are becoming more and more wary of trusting their data to organizations in the US, which will maybe turn their data in secret to the NSA.
Leading Edge Forum think-tank, Simon Wardley from the United Kingdom, actually celebrated the fact that the information regarding what the National Security Agency is doing and all about its PRISM data collection program was exposed.
He furthermore stated that this is a golden opportunity for the United Kingdom and the EU in general, because the cloud industry may be a 100 billion Euros investment for small tech startups across the European continent that will boost the market considerably.
One survey that recently took place and was initiated by the United States based Cloud Security Alliance, quoted by the ITIF, reported that the US companies offering computing in cloud systems, but also file storage (in order for them to be accessed and stored anywhere on the planet) are very gloomy about the level of actions the US government has succumbed to and gathering info from literally every American citizen through projects like XKeyscore andPRISM is certainly disturbing to say the least.
Many people said that hearing the news made them think they are living in an Orwellian state which scared them a lot.
Author of the ITIF survey, Daniel Castro, said in an interview that it seemed pretty reasonable to suggest that the cloud businesses in the United States could lose between ten percent and twenty percent of the overseas market to rivals.
How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry?
He went on and said that this effect has been felt already and based on the information gathered through the survey, individuals outside the United States (10% to be more specific about it) decided to cancel a project with cloud services from US providers and fifty six percent would be less likely to consider US based providers if they need cloud services for personal or business use.
Of the ones who were surveyed in the United States, 36% said that the National Security Agency leaks made things more difficult for them to consider doing business with a US cloud service provider, so they were likely to consider a provider outside the country.
Chairman of ANS Group, a United Kingdom based business, Scott Fletcher said that people in the United Kingdom were quite reticent about entrusting their most important data to providers in the United States, because the government could easily access it.
The PRISM project, ever since it was uncovered by Snowden, has put in their minds the idea that there could be cooperation in the United Kingdom with that. The Guardian actually revealed just how much the NSA and the GCHQ (UK’s Spy Center) swap data earlier this month.
Many people would actually want to have their very own cloud service in place, because they are aware of the fact that EU companies don’t have this type of relationship with the government. As a result, it would only be natural for them to go with services that are based in the United Kingdom, rather than going for Amazing or Google web services.
Given this bad publicity that has affected the cloud service providers in the US so much, the government struggled to offer a response to the series of accusations and revelations in the Guardia regarding the extent to which the National Security Agency oversees data that travels into the United States. ThePRISM project basically allows the US to target details regarding people who reside outside the United States.
Amongst others, the National Security Agency said that it has direct access to data from Microsoft and Google, who are at the same time, very important providers of cloud technology services. Even though the 2 companies stated that the National Security Agency has direct access to their data, they said that data can be transmitted lawfully.
XKeyscore allows the National Security Agency to basically find out details about people regardless of where they are surfing online.
By 2016, the potential size of the cloud computing market is estimated at two hundred and seven billion dollars, of which more than 50% will be outside of the United States.
However, it seems that even though there’s been all this bad publicity about theNSA and how it can access anyone’s data if it’s in the US, not every provider in the United Kingdom has benefited from it.
Founder of PRISM Total IT Solutions, a London based company, said that they will never get to position one in a Google search for the keyword PRISM again.
While this was possible for them a decade ago, it will never be possible again. Pretty sad news indeed.