(The Hosting News) – The NSA’s recently leaked electronic surveillance program could cost the cloud industry billions, at least according to a report issued by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
The organization projects a $22 to $35 billion dollar loss over the next three years as foreign customers may see “the risks of storing data with a U.S. company outweigh the benefits.”
The PRISM program has been the center of the privacy rights debate since its details were leaked earlier this year by former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.
While noting the U.S. was a leader in providing cloud services worldwide, the foundation said other countries were trying to play “catch-up.”
“If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government, then maybe they won’t trust U.S. cloud providers either. If I am right, there are multibillion-euro consequences for American companies. If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now,” stated Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Affairs.
The data signaling a loss in the billions was partly based on a survey carried out by the Cloud Security Alliance showing how industry leaders responded to the NSA leak.
“For non-U.S. residents, 10 percent of respondents indicated that they had cancelled a project with a U.S.-based cloud computing provider; 56 percent said that they would be less likely to use a U.S.-based cloud computing service. For U.S. residents, slightly more than a third (36 percent) indicated that the NSA leaks made it more difficult for them to do business outside of the United States,” stated the report.
Meanwhile, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation suggested the government could remedy the financial cloud loss by declassifying more information about PRISM and its program.
PRISM was initially started under former U.S. President George W. Bush. The U.S. government has maintained its kept to fight terrorist threats and doesn’t infringe on citizens’ privacy rights.