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4/3/15

Spying is bad for business: NSA spying caused 9 percent of foreign firms to dump U.S. clouds - by Mike Wheatley

In the weeks following Edward Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s massive web surveillance program PRISM, speculation was raised about the negative implications it could have on U.S. cloud companies.

Now, Forrester Research has taken the time to see just what kind of impact it has had, asking a host of foreign firms whether or not PRISM has caused them to scale back their spending on U.S. cloud services, and the answer makes for some uneasy reading.

A total of 1,668 non-U.S. business technology decision makers were quizzed in Forrester’s survey. The exact question asked was “In the past year, has your company explicitly halted or reduced your spending with US-based companies for Internet-based services (e.g., cloud, online service/outsourcing) due to these security concerns?”, with 26 percent of respondents answering in the affirmative.

Forrester followed up by asking the 427 who said yes what their reasons for doing so were, and found that 34 percent cited “fear of the intelligence community spying”. A quick sum of the math shows that 9 percent of foreign firms have therefore ditched U.S. cloud companies due to the NSA, not an insignificant number by any means, despite The Register’s insistence that “Snowden didn’t scare off many”.

It’s worth nothing that the respondents held, on average, only about a third of their company data in U.S. clouds anyway, so their decision to pull out may not be as significant as it first seems. But even so, U.S. cloud firms will still want to take notice of the survey, which indicates that most foreign companies simply don’t trust them all that much anyway, irrespective of the NSA. In total, 53 percent of respondents said they would not trust any of their critical data with a U.S. cloud company, end of story.

Read more: NSA spying caused 9 percent of foreign firms to dump U.S. clouds | SiliconANGLE

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