WASHINGTON, July 31 (RIA Novosti) - A newly released report by the New America Foundation exposes how NSA spying programs could cost American IT business $22 to $180 billion over the next three years, while industry leaders fight to keep their place in global markets as NSA scandal undermined global confidence in their products and services.
“American companies have reported declining sales overseas and lost business opportunities,” according to the press release on the New American Foundation report Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s Impact on the Economy, Internet Freedom & Cybersecurity.
“The NSA’s PRISM program is predicted to cost the cloud computing industry from $22 to $180 billion over the next three years.” The report continues, “Our findings indicate that the NSA’s actions have already begun to, and will continue to, cause significant damage to the interests of the United States and the global Internet community.”
Among the companies already impacted by increasing NSA surveillance is Cisco, which was among the first to publicly discuss the impact of the NSA spying on its business. The New America Foundation report documented the Cisco incident stating that “the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit had intercepted network gear, including Cisco routers, being shipped to target organizations in order to covertly install implant firmware on them before they were delivered.” Cisco’s fourth quarter earning in 2013 fell significantly, with a 18 percent drop in orders from China and close to a 10 percent decline in worldwide revenue.
“Security has always been a high priority for our customers, but these disclosures have placed it among the top topics of conversation,” Cisco Senior Manager of Global Corporate Communications, Nigel Glennie, told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
Reluctant to answer whether the NSA’s data monitoring programs have impacted Cisco’s profits, Glennie noted, “We are currently in a quiet period ahead of our August 13 earnings announcement, so I will be cautious about commenting on business performance.”
Glennie pointed to remedial actions Cisco is taking and public remarks denouncing the NSA attempts to undermine Cisco products. These include recommending standards that ensure “safeguards and limits exist that serve national security objectives, while also meet[ing] the needs of global commerce.” He pointed to a letter Cisco CEO John Chambers sent to President Barack Obama in May which warned that the media reports saying the NSA had intercepted IT equipment in transit from manufacturers to consumers, threatened to undermine global confidence and would have economic consequences for IT companies, like Cisco.
“Confidence in the open, global Internet has brought enormous economic benefits to the United States...This confidence is eroded by revelations of government's’ surveillance,” said Chambers.
“We simply cannot operate this way,” he continued, calling for a new set of standards to build back consumer confidence while respecting national security concerns.