U.S. IT Firms Lose Billions Due to NSA’s Surveillance Programs

The government’s intrusive NSA surveillance programs are not only causing Americans to fret over the limitless information government agencies are gathering daily without any warrants. According to The Independent, U.S. IT firms are also losing billions after reports proved they were involved with the bulk data collection programs.

The scandal is making it hard for American technology companies to sell their products to foreign companies and governments in Asia. Members of the export markets have begun to refuse making any deals with Americans because they simply cannot trust us anymore.

Tech giants like Cisco and IBM have seen a sales drop that surpassed the $1.7 billion mark since Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been gathering Internet data from millions of American users daily.

When foreigners don’t want what U.S. companies have to offer, especially after learning that surveillance programs have compromised their technology, China becomes the first place to go for an alternative. According to The Independent, IBM saw a drop of 15 percent of sales in Asia, while Cisco reported that it might have lost 10 percent of its customers in this current quarter.

The Asian market is not the only one that’s concerned with surveillance programs like Prism. According to the reports, the German government is urging tech developers to come up with an alternative local Internet and e-mail provider that would keep the consumer’s data private.

Countries like Canada, France, Germany and others have rules that make it a requirement for IT companies to provide data privacy to its customers, making it an especially difficult task for American companies to strike any deals abroad, especially after being asked by the American government to hand over users’ personal data.

President Barack Obama has recently met with executives from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter and Facebook. The early-December meeting gave executives time and space to vent their frustration concerning the spying programs. Apple now wants to explain to the public how its consumers are affected and how the company co-operates with the NSA’s programs, in order to keep from losing any more costumers in the near future.

What the NSA and its massive surveillance programs have been able to accomplish is exactly what one might expect from a program developed by a government that has grown too big: inefficiency. But now we are seeing an even darker side to this issue, one that could cost Americans their jobs and stifle our tech industry.

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