InsightaaS: Cloud Tweaks uses a combination of research and editorial bloggers (both staff and outside contributors) to inform readers about key IT topics: cloud, convergence, and green, grid and utility computing. In this post, freelancer Daniel Price looks at the business impact of revelations regarding NSA scrutiny of US web traffic.
Edward Snowden, the NSA, Heartbleed — it seems every technology story at the moment is in some way linked to these topics. Whether or not you believe that the NSA was directly involved in the Heartbleed security flaw, it is apparent that cloud customers around the world have been rattled by the disclosure of mass government surveillance and security leaks.
What affect have these revelations and worries had on United States-based cloud providers?
A Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) survey found that ten percent of non-United States companies cancelled contracts with American service providers following the admission of the NSA spying program in the middle of 2013.Worryingly for those providers, the survey also found that a massive fifty six percent of respondents are now reluctant to work with any US-based cloud service. Only thirty percent of those surveyed said that ‘spygate’ would have no impact on their use of cloud services.
The data surprised senior figures within the cloud computing industry. Jim Reavis, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the CSA, said the level of scepticism was greater than he expected, but pointed out that he "thought that more people would understand that these activities happen all the time in their countries as well". Whether or not other countries conduct the same level of covert operations is not clear...