You are probably, at least to some extent, aware of the controversy surrounding the now infamous online surveillance program run by a number of government agencies in the US and abroad. Almost on a weekly basis more information and details about the program are being leaked to the media. The revelations regarding the massive scope and span of the programs have raised concerns among two main groups.
The first group which includes a broad array of tech enthusiasts, human rights organizations and civil liberties advocates are up in arms about what can be considered a gross violation of individuals’ right to privacy on a massive state-sanctioned scale. They have filed petitions, lawsuits and organized protests. Even the US congress has held several hearings and opened inquiries into these programs and the agencies in charge.
The second group, which I would categorize as commercial interests, is those involved in the business of Internet: Big data, cloud, hosting, XaaS, etc. Cloud service providers, based in the US, are dealing with the ethical consequences of an outpouring of leaks regarding their government’s direct and unlimited access to customer data stored in their formerly considered secure data center. This begs the question, will customers, particularly foreign customers with strict regulations regarding privacy and security of data, trust the cloud service provider again? It’s debatable what the impact would be but one particular study claims that US Cloud Computing industry stands to lose as much as $35 billion over the next three years as a direct result of newfound concerns over data and network security.