IBM realises that any NSA relationship is an albatross

Biggish Blue has woken up and realised that close ties to the NSA are costing its customers and there is an advantage to keeping the spooks at arm’s length.

The company is the latest to say that it does not want to be associated with the NSA spy activities whatsoever and the company has revealed it has not provided client data to the US National Security Agency or any other government programmes surveying the internet and collecting bulk content and metadata.

The need to convince customers that it has nothing to do with the spooks is becoming critical. A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation recently claimed the US cloud computing industry risks losing between $22 Billion and $35 billion of its foreign market over the next three years to competitors abroad, because of the NSA antics.

Brazil is considering asking service providers to hold data within the country, a move that Google describes as potentially fragmenting the internet.

In a series of “commitments to its customers” IBM, Robert C. Weber the Senior Vice President for Legal and Regulatory affairs, and general counsel at Big Blue said that if a government wants access to data held by IBM on behalf of an enterprise client, he would expect that government to deal directly with that client.

The letter is also posted here and said that IBM does not have backdoors in its products to provide software source code or encryption keys that the NSA for accessing client data.

IBM promised to challenge the US national security via court procedures if ordered to provide information and data from an enterprise client through a gag order which prohibits them from discussing the order with the client.