NSA Revelations Impact On Cloud Computing Adoption

Cloud Computing AdoptionA recent report made by the Guardian revealed some disconcerting news that has a number of people concerned about their privacy especially related to technology like cloud computing. According to NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency has been using a legal loophole to search US citizens’ email, phone calls, video and video chat, photos and social networking details without a warrant.

The NSA apparently has the ability to search databases for specific US individuals’ communication. Snowden revealed that an NSA program called Prism is used to collect data, live communications and stored information from law abiding citizens. The possibility of data and information being searched by the NSA has many people second guessing moving their data into cloud computing.

Already Lost Business

Many American technology businesses have already lost some business as a result of the information revealed about the NSA. Others are also wary of the possible effects that the NSA’s tactics will have on their cloud computing contracts worldwide over the next few years. The expectation is that cloud computing businesses could lose between 10% and 20% to rivals overseas.

Since American companies must allow the government access to data many international businesses are reluctant to get involved with U.S. cloud computing.  The issues of privacy are thought to lead people away from American technology companies in favor of other countries without government access to their data.

Massive Impact

It is hard to say how much money for cloud computing companies will be lost as a result of the revelations about NSA’s Prism program but it is projected by the ITIF to be potentially between 21 and 35 billion dollars. Cloud providers are worried about the financial impact in the next 3 years especially since many have reported that they lost clients already because of the information that was revealed.

The future remains uncertain for these companies because it is unclear whether any changes will be made to the NSA’s access to data. Obama recently announced a public review of the US surveillance programs but stated that the programs would still remain in place in spite of America’s reaction to the Guardian’s report.  He did not mention closing the loophole which has allowed the NSA to access private data without a warrant but asserted that reforms would be implemented on the surveillance programs.

Privacy Issue

The effect that privacy issues and the NSA could have on cloud computing businesses is likely to be very significant in the next few years. If effective reform is made by the government to reduce the access that the NSA is allowed to personal data then the future could be more optimistic for cloud computing.

For now it seems that many businesses could lose their clients and a lot of their profits as people remain concerned about the security of their data. Cloud computing has already faced a lot of questions regarding security and the NSA’s actions will likely prove to be a major stumbling block to most of the American companies offering their cloud computing services.

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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