Even dog food companies know that the Edward Snowden revelations opened many peoples eyes to the data collection activities of the U.S. government. It has spurred a political civil-libertarian backlash against the so-called “surveillance state” and has even led to problems in the Senate with the Patriot Act being able to get reauthorized. There is another negative consequence of NSA spying activities that is costing American tech companies sales and contracts and will also cost American jobs.
It started earlier this year with the Chinese government removing U.S. tech firms from an official government purchasing list. It did not stop there. Worldwide, it is estimated that NSA spying and our government’s attempts to gain built-in surveillance access to U.S. technology products is costing the U.S. tech industry $35 billion. To combat this trend several suggestions have been made. Increased transparency about U.S. surveillance activities tops the list as well as opposing any efforts for legislation that weakens encryption. Apple and Google have been outspoken against the surveillance state of late and strong advocates for encryption because they know that an extreme imbalance between U.S. security interests and U.S. economic interests in favor of security is costing billions. To add insult to injury, no one is even sure if anyone can empirically state how all this surveillance is making us any safer. You would think with all the NSA spying in the news lately that terrorists must be using carrier pigeons or something similarly antiquated to communicate.