Economy Glenn Greenwald NSA Security

Greenwald Witch Hunt Costs American Businesses Billions of Dollars

American companies are losing tens of billions of dollars of business because Glenn Greenwald said a thing.

From the Washington Post

U.S. cloud providers have already lost business over the NSA leaks, but now the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has a report putting a dollar amount on the short-term costs: $21.5 to $35 billion over the next three years.

ITIF based these estimates in part on the Cloud Security Alliance survey showing that 10 percent of officials at non-U.S. companies cancelled contracts with U.S. providers and 56 percent of non-U.S. respondents are hesitant to work with U.S. cloud based operators after the leaks.

The cloud computing industry is big business: it’s estimated to be a $131 billion market by the end of 2013, and a $207 billion market by 2016. The U.S. has historically dominated the space. But after the Snowden leaks detailed the level of access the NSA has to data hosted by U.S. companies, European officials and cloud providers raised privacy alarm bells.

This leads ITIF to conclude the NSA leaks “will likely have an immediate and lasting impact on the competitiveness of the U.S. cloud computing industry if foreign customers decide the risks of storing data with a U.S. company outweigh the benefits.”

Who has Snowden’s leaks and Greenwald’s witch hunt hurt the most?

The intelligence community?

No. It will hurt American businesses that have nothing to do with the NSA more than anyone else. Because supposedly they have secret back doors that the NSA can access on a whim.

Of course we know that’s not true, but a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

  • CygnusX1isaHole

    …but now the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has a report putting a dollar amount on the short-term costs: $21.5 to $35 billion over the next three years.


    Daniel Castro is a senior analyst with the organization Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He wrote the report mentioned in the WaPo article (above).

    Here’s what he said in Wired Magazine:

    “We went through this debate with the Clipper Chip, and it was clear where public opinion stood,” he says, referring to a backdoor technology the NSA wanted to install in all encryption two decades ago.

    “If these claims are true, and the NSA introduced backdoors into global security standards, this seems like a clear perversion of democracy,” Castro added. “This just further erodes the competitiveness of U.S. tech companies. In particular, I think this enlarges the scope of companies that will suffer backlash since cryptographic standards are often embedded in hardware.”


    • Okay, I’ve always known, and so has every IT company out there, that the U.S. Government would not allow any crypto on the market that they could not break, if necessary. This is a point of national security and it makes perfect sense. Could it be abused? Yes. Has it been abused? No. That’s why we have oversight. The oversight that has caught occasional individuals who did something wrong with their access and on any inadvertent data collection and reported that to Congress (and later that info was publicly released). Thank goodness we live in the U.S. where this kind of oversight actually occurs as opposed to countries like Brazil, Russia, etc.

  • CygnusX1isaHole

    Hundreds of thousands of business owners are thanking The Guardian for alerting them to the fact that their data is not secure on U.S. cloud providers.

    Now they’ll be able to make an informed decision to move their data to countries/companies where it will be protected.

    The more information people have the better off they are, especially in business.

    Thank you Glenn and thank you The Guardian!

    • A an IT pro with 15 years of experience, I would posit to you that any business, domestic or international, that did not already know the NSA could get at their online data and would/could use that data for the purposes of espionage are naive nincompoops who should not be in the business of having data online.

  • Mike Huben

    I guess you would also have criticized scientists for revealing that lead in paint and gasoline damaged brains: look how much it cost American business!

    Oh, and finding mad cow disease: look how badly that affected the beef industry! Shame on those naughty scientists and doctors.

    Your argument is a typical conservative attitude: business comes first. It’s fine to lie however you want to customers. It’s fine for the product to have all sorts of undesired problems, as long as the customers don’t know. Customer choice should be free except when they might learn to choose somebody else’s product.

    Your Snowden Derangement Syndrome is no different than conservative Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    • On the contrary, Bob and Ashby’s problem with Greenwald has always been very subtle argument related to Greenwalds lack of journalistic standards and his functioning as an advocate. IF Greenwald had acted as a journalist, things would have been VERY, VERY different and the conversation about what changes need to be made, if any, would have been much more rational and productive. Instead the whole thing was overly dramatic, irresponsibly and inaccurately reported, and ultimately very damaging to U.S. interests.

      Derangement Syndrome, on the other hand, is the outright rejection of anything that individual does or says. That’s not what’s going on here. But thanks for playing!

    • JMAshby

      It’s very amusing how the only time you show up is to defend Greenwald and Snowden.

      And, you know, your argument would work better if any of it was true. The NSA does not have secret back door access to servers. They can’t access anything on a whim and without a warrant.

      There’s no “mad cow disease” or lead poisoning equivalent in the Cloud Computing industry.

  • js hooper

    I’m sure this news gives Greenwald a boner.The dude is a narcissistic sociopath.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Anything that hurts America’s prestige in the world gives him a boner.

  • formerlywhatithink

    Notice how fearless champion of all that is free in the world hasn’t written a single about Brazil? or Russia, where his compatriot currently resides? or of China, Venezuela or Ecuador, the other (had been potentially) Snowden’s great protector? Remember why he moved to Brazil (because the US wouldn’t recognize his partners status)? Remember reading that scathing, condemning and utterly passionate rebuke he wrote about the two lesbians who were arrested for kissing at a public event, paid for with tax dollars in Brazil a little while ago? Yeah, neither do I.

    Greenwald is a small, petty man who has been given information, which was widely known among the international community but politely ignored due to the unspoken rules of realpolitik, and is presenting it in such a way as to alarm and scare as many people as he can, damn the consequences. His next, great, stupendous, self-righteous expose is going to be on how Canada spies on Brazil. At this point, he’s just basically a poorly skilled PR hack for Brazil. And as usual,his sycophants will be running in a panic, condemning these evil, spying countries while simultaneously bowing at the altar of Greenwald.

  • JozefAL

    “Of course we know that’s not true, but a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

    I’m beginning to think that adage needs to be updated: “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth has managed to wipe the sleep from its eyes.”

    • Christopher Foxx

      Corollary: “When truth does arrive, it will still be denied.”

  • JimmyAbra

    This is the reason why I feel some things just have to remain private…Like Fed talks, security secrets, “black ops”, etc…The general public can not handle some info and it must be distributed with great tact.

    • feloniousgrammar

      It seems that anyone who has ever had a friend or partner would understand the importance of discretion.

      • Nah, that assumes that there are only grown ups in the room and we damn well know that’s not true!

  • feloniousgrammar

    It seems that the internet has united paranoid people all over the world, and yet without it, we would be strictly at the mercy of a merciless media caste.

    • dbtheonly


      Without the internet, Media Corporations would have a financial stake in being known for accuracy.

      • feloniousgrammar

        So they’d have different advertisers?

        • dbtheonly

          More Advertisers, no E-Bay, Social Media, or Craig’s List to provide other advertising venues. Thus more revenue.

          I’m assuming that an organization with the reputation of being accurate would have an advantage. Papers like the Washington Times that promoted itself as a “conservative” paper always struggled financially.

          But I guess it would boil down to how polarized things would be.

    • JimmyAbra

      Yes, one of the downsides of the Internet is makes the crazies know there are others like them…They use to just sit back and conform to the normals around them. Now they know there are other crazies out there

  • CL Nicholson

    Don’t forget the Brits, the Canadians with their relations with Brazil and a host of whole list folks.