US companies are losing billions as foreign companies look closer to home to avoid NSA snooping.
According to the Wall Street Journal, companies and politicians are seeing an opportunity to take business from the US in the wake of Edward Snowden’s allegations about NSA spying.
Three of Germany’s largest email providers, including partly state-owned Deutsche Telekom teamed up to offer a new service, Email Made in Germany.
This promises that by encrypting email through German servers and using the country’s strict privacy laws, U.S. authorities won’t be able to snoop as easily.
Now the service is reporting more than 100,000 Germans have signed up.
The Journal said that foreign countries were seeking to use data-privacy laws as a competitive advantage to boost domestic companies against Google and Microsoft.
Of course it would be more expensive for Germans to use such a service and requires maintaining ignorance about the way the interent works.
What might happen is the development of something like a “Euro cloud,” in which consumer data could be shared within Europe but not outside the region.
Brazil is about to insist that data about Brazilians be stored on servers in the country and India is going to stop government employees from using email services from Google and Yahoo
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimates that fallout from revelations about NSA activities could cost Silicon Valley up to $35 billion in annual revenue. Most of this is going to come from lost overseas business.
The Cloud Security Alliance found that 56 percent of non-US members said security concerns made it less likely that they would use US based cloud services and ten percent have already scrapped a contract.
Microsoft has admitted that the NSA spying has the potential to erode the trust of customers around the world.
It is impossible for the big technology companies to undo any damage, particularly when the extent of NSA activities is secret and other nations have been critical of the US.
Smaller companies, which have been battling Google and Amazon for ages, see the NSA surveillance programme as a present from Santa.
Oliver Dehning, chief executive of antispameuropeGmbH, which builds spam-protection software said that it was an opportunity to strike back and protect the home market.