American technology businesses fear they could lose between $21.5bn and $35bn in cloud computing contracts worldwide over the next three years, as part of the fallout from the NSA revelations.
Some US companies said they have already lost business, while UK rivals said that UK and European businesses are increasingly wary of trusting their data to American organisations, which might have to turn it over secretly to the National Security Agency, its government surveillance organisation.
One British executive, Simon Wardley at the Leading Edge Forum thinktank, celebrated the publication of the information about the NSA’s spying and its Prism data collection program: “Do I like Prism … yes, and god bless America and the NSA for handing this golden opportunity to us,” he wrote on his blog. “Do I think we should be prepared to go the whole hog, ban US services and create a €100bn investment fund for small tech startups in Europe to boost the market … oh yes, without hesitation.”
A survey by the US-based Cloud Security Alliance, quoted by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) found that American companies which offer file storage and computing in cloud systems – so they can be stored and accessed anywhere in the world – are gloomy about the effects of the Guardian’s revelations of the extent of US government snooping and data gathering through projects such as Prism and Xkeyscore.
Daniel Castro, author of the ITIF survey, said that it seemed reasonable to suggest that US cloud businesses could lose between 10% and 20% of the overseas market to rivals.
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