The cost of Snowden’s leaks, and a new Senate NSA reform bill

Forget talk of loss of liberty. Let’s talk about losing hard cash.

The revelations about U.S. surveillance leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is costing U.S. businesses millions of dollars in curtailed sales of cloud computing services and web hosting overseas, says the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute in a new report.

The report predicts that “the cloud computing industry is particularly vulnerable and could lose billions of dollars in the next three to five years due to NSA surveillance.”

This will come as no surprise to those who have been following the leaks and what the revealed practices mean for tech firms. A prior report from the Information Technology Innovation Foundation pegged the lost to U.S. firms at $35 billion over the next five years, says Bloomberg.

The New America Foundation’s report outlines not only direct costs to U.S. businesses but potential future costs in the form of foreign government policy changes. It also says there is a cost of the world markets losing trust in American firms.

The report’s authors call on strong controls on the surveillance, such as prohibiting the NSA from collecting bulk data.

Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy is expected to unveil today a package of reforms that limit the NSA, Reuters reports.

The Vermont Democrat’s bill proposes more controls on the collection of bulk data of American phone records and Internet data. With the backing of the White House, the bill is expected to be embraced by those who criticized the House bill that passed in May for being too weak on reform.

 Above:  Sen. Patrick Leahy (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)


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  • Ralph Marx

    What a horrible headline on this story! It should read, Untrustworthy government, with horrific practices of violating privacy and over stepping it’s authority, has brought great harm to the American economy due to lack of trust by companies world wide. thank fully Mr. Snowden helped expose this horror before it got completely out of control. Duhh

    • Minh Ng

      You should go to Russia and share life with Snowden I am not sure they even allow two men in one flat – that is how freedom it is, you would be bless to live in US.
      Truth is being murdered in Putin’s bloody Russia
      Another journalist is brutally killed for daring to expose the corruption and organised crime that is at least tolerated by Moscow’s elite

      • John

        i love it when you guys conduct your “surveillance role playing ” interviews of Snowden supporter in their daily life and recommend the Snowden supporter to move to Russia but when the target agrees he can move there if they can take “James Clapper” with them to Russia.Your faces are priceless at that moment lols. Awww Propaganda!! you can smell it ,see it, feel it.Rest of the time you guys just hack every Snowden supporter computer, yous guys are getting desperate since Gen Keith resigned, its like he was holding you guys back from attacking the targets as if the targets(snowden supporters) are Russian hackers who attacked American network.Talk about abuse of power ever?
        Truth is being murdered? LOLS google “role play surveioelance” jobs to understand how truth is murdered on daily basis in 5 eye partners. When people are bullied at work its called “work place bullying” when NSA do same, its called ” Terrorism investigation”/”role play surveillance”.I guess your targets are shifting from “Muslims” to “others”.

        • Minh Ng

          Russia society is very mess up like China, Vietnam, because theses governments are gangs and thieves, propaganda, hold 100% of power on top of normal people. Dictatorships and censorships are the key of government policy.

  • Joe Larson

    Its not what “revealed practices” have cost us.
    Its what illegal, immoral, unconstitutional acts of our own government have done to us American citizens.
    poor business that have lost billions also have diverted profits
    overseas to avoid taxes. There’s a lot of things that have to come clean
    and be fixed before I start boo-hooing for these businesses. If these
    were Russians doing what the NSA is doing, we would have prosecuted them
    and executed them, as we have in the past. They haven’t even received a
    hand slap. “Globalization” was just a fancy term for tax evasion. We
    have Guantanemo too. Our government has lost the money, but what they
    should be looking at is they lost their integrity, and no paid ad
    campaign will bring that back. We, as well as the rest of the world see
    our government for the lying, thieving b…ds they are.
    Now, how are we going to fix THAT?

    • Minh Ng

      to be honest you are not even American

  • Joe Larson

    I am not concerned that this is still better than Russia. We have moved from a beacon of hope and freedom, to one of the better s……holes to live in? Being better does not mean we are what we once believed we were. We haven’t even allowed this stuff. It was simply DONE, and we are supposed to accept this in some patriotic way. This is how some of the very worst types of government ever started. –Tell them they aren’t patriotic if they don’t support this! Hitler did it. Then you feel obligated to support it because its patriotic!
    And I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m not a patriot!– I’m glad you have had an opportunity to move up to a nicer place to live, but that does not change the power we need to take back. You came UP to this. We came DOWN to this. I read before that there is no law that makes the IRS taxes mandatory. I don’t know how that is, BUT, if you tried to not pay your fair share–you get audited and fined. No loopholes for you. But if you are a large corporation, you can easily funnel all your profits out of the country, thru little things like Apple and Google do. Have a foreign office, a closet if you will. That is now the headquarters and this little country charges no tax. I have no trouble with them making multi-billions IF they pay the same as I do. They talk of all the taxes they pay but its not on their profit. They quote payroll and real estate taxes. I pay that too, but at the end of the year, why are we not getting the tax money from them? And NOT for more NSA stuff. We need roads, hospitals. We need to rebuild what once was a great place. No more handouts. Jobs. Not government jobs. We have way too much government.