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Forrester: NSA Spying Could Cost Cloud $180B, But Probably Won't 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the chips-all-in dept.
itwbennett writes "Forrester's James Staten argues in a blog post that the U.S. cloud computing industry stands to lose as much as $180 billion, using the reasoning put forth by a well-circulated report from The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation that pegged potential losses closer to $35 billion. But Staten's real point is that when it comes down to it the cloud industry will likely not take much of a hit at all. Because as much as they voice their displeasure, turning back isn't really an option for businesses using the cloud."
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Forrester: NSA Spying Could Cost Cloud $180B, But Probably Won't

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  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:10PM (#44579779)
    and all the problems of mainframes (like people spying on you) are being "rediscovered". The problems have not changed and no one will ever care about your data as much as you do.
    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:19PM (#44579813) Homepage Journal
      So is this your way of saying you wouldn't be interested in a mini-cloud in every university department and medium-sized business, or perhaps a personal cloud you could run at home? What about a mobile cloud to put in your pocket? Admittedly, they'll be rather bulky and brick-like at first, but some day they might be as compact and lightweight as, say, a deck of cards or a pocket notebook.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What?

        I think what he's saying is we've spent the past 10 years giving up whatever privacy we gained during the PC revolution and (most of us) are back to the days when BOFHs & random spooks have access to our private bits.

        Personally I haven't given up on mainframes entirely but for some services at least (personal email, personal photo sharing) I've moved from Google/Yahoo/etc. to imap & webspace at my alma mater.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          For personal emails unless you're encrypting your emails you only gain a little in privacy Most email is transferred from server to server in plaintext.

          And if both parties are actually encrypting emails (with PGP) you can actually still use cloud webmail. All they and anyone in between would see would be the encrypted emails (and of course the sender/recipients and other unencrypted metadata).

          Similar thing for photo sharing - unless you're giving out accounts and using https you don't gain much in privacy.
      • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:47PM (#44579943)

        So is this your way of saying you wouldn't be interested in a mini-cloud in every university department and medium-sized business, or perhaps a personal cloud you could run at home? What about a mobile cloud to put in your pocket? Admittedly, they'll be rather bulky and brick-like at first, but some day they might be as compact and lightweight as, say, a deck of cards or a pocket notebook.

        A mobile cloud to put in your pocket? If you're being satirical...kudos. If you're sincere...just...this [wikipedia.org]. The cloud is not a mystical place bits go to evolve...it is just a loose metaphor for the aggregate of the large collection of SANs, multi-hop networks, and various application layers sourced to pull a metic fuck-ton of bits from many locations scattered about in IRL back to your wetware's optical inputs when requested...

        • I'd say obviously that was satire [catb.org], but terrifyingly at least one of these terms has been used [digitaltrends.com] (albeit wildly wrongly.)

        • Dude, I am so laughing right now, the guy said cloud "in your pocket", is that not the same as your own mobile zip drive that you can own for as little as 50$ from besdtbuy. I think if he could not grasp what he said, he might not catch what you said and you might be wasting your breath .....like trying to explain to someone why there is no refill on the halogen inside the headlights on your car. :)

      • by SuperDre (982372)

        a mini-cloud in every university and medium-sized business is called a local server, we've already got that..
        A personal cloud you could run at home, is called a harddrive in your PC, we've already got that...
        A mobile cloude you could put in you pocket is called a mobilephone/tablet, we've already got that...
        Just like people call every application an App these days (even though it always have been called that, as App is short for application)...
        Nothing new, only a new hyped name....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm guessing the biggest losses will be from people and corporations outside the US switching to providers outside the US. Not that the NSA won't have access to those also, but they won't know that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dan667 (564390)
        or switching back to their own hardware.
        • by s.petry (762400) on Friday August 16, 2013 @12:08AM (#44580325)

          This is the answer we have been telling people to keep ever since... well, always!! Businesses dropped common sense for price. Second on the list was usability, and last was security if it was thought about at all. While that would not have protected "Free" email accounts from being tapped so easily, it would have prevented the corporate espionage that the US has allegedly been involved in. Go ahead and Google search "nsa spying corporate espionage" if you want citation, you will find more links than you can read this week.

          Third world countries may be able to plead ignorance, or perhaps being duped by various Governments and their agencies. The US, EU, UK, China, Russia, etc.. should all know better but chose to ignore people that work in the field.

          • by Kjella (173770)

            Go ahead and Google search "nsa spying corporate espionage" if you want citation, you will find more links than you can read this week.

            Not that it may or may not have happened, but that'll give you links of the same quality as "9/11 false flag demolition" and "moon landing faked" - an awful lot of speculation and conspiracy theories but actual proof is pretty hard to come by. Counting hits on Google isn't exactly a reliable way to measure truth,

            • by rts008 (812749)

              Counting hits on Google isn't exactly a reliable way to measure truth,

              That is an excellent point, but sadly it plays right into that 'truthiness' nonsense that seems so popular lately.

            • by CRCulver (715279)

              Not that it may or may not have happened, but that'll give you links of the same quality as "9/11 false flag demolition" and "moon landing faked" - an awful lot of speculation and conspiracy theories but actual proof is pretty hard to come by.

              The European Parliament's 2001 report on ECHELON details some cases of corporate espionage on behalf of the US against European firms, and its reliabilty has always been assumed, plus those accusations went on to be confirmed by other serious media investigations of t

            • by s.petry (762400)

              Are you really trying to claim that you must trust that the Government is "good" and "innocent" when proof is absent? Do you know how many people were called "crazy conspiracy theorists" that were warning people about the Government trying to entrap MLK? Then we read about COINTELPRO and Operation Mocking Bird later, and find out they were correct. Do you know how many people said that the Government was poisoning people in St. Louis and were called "Crazy Conspiracy Nuts" just to find out later the US G [dailymail.co.uk]

        • Sorry, posting because I moded incorrectly. *Curses at touch screens*
    • Not exactly. To the business world "The Cloud" means IaaS: outsourcing their datacenters. They're going from racked servers and storage that they own to racked servers and storage that someone else maintains.

      Your point about "mainframes again" applies more to SaaS where people replace their email client and word processor with a web app.

      • by s.petry (762400)
        I don't agree, mainframes were IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS all in one. You could control every aspect of the computer at a very fine grained level. I'm thinking you are looking at a very narrow view of a mainframe to think them as only SaaS platforms.
      • by Cederic (9623)

        Fuck email and word processing.

        How about the entire ERP system, end-to-end marketing, sales, billing and invoicing.

        A massive humungous cost, slow and cumbersome to change, and now all possible to implement in a few days at low enough cost to put on your credit card.

        You also benefit from the underlying PaaS and IaaS, so the systems scale easily and you only pay for usage so TCO is easier to predict and only rises if you grow.

        I'm not arguing against replacing desktop apps with cloud based solutions, but focus

        • by tnk1 (899206)

          Agreed. The ability to get those sorts of systems up in the Cloud rapidly and in a scalable fashion is great. Having personal involvement with products used in a Cloud based infrastructure, there is a real ability for us to ramp up all sorts of resources for customers in a very short amount of time.

          There are certainly security concerns, to be sure, but aggregating your data with some cloud providers allows smaller organizations to make use of the security capabilities of larger providers, which I can tell

    • FALSE! The NSA cares more about your data than you do!

    • by crdotson (224356) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:34PM (#44580171)

      If by "mainframe" you mean, "it's the 1980s and I use the term 'mainframe' for any vague computer concept I don't understand," then, sure. :)

    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      All of the problems? Do I need a TN3270 terminal emulator to access the cloud?
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It really isn't, although it has many of the same problems. It also solves some problems mainframes don't solve, like availability; if your building is crushed by a meteor or some other such improbable event, even the mainframes of old which could survive crashing through to the floor below while pulling their mains cables with them will be lost. But in a cloud computing scenario, in theory your field agents can continue working without even being aware that the home office has been consumed by fire. This i

      • by Dan667 (564390)
        I'd still take problems I can act on than being an unimportant Customer to someone like Amazon. When ec2 failed for Reddit they were down for a very long time with no way to recover and told they were queued to be helped.
  • the U.S. cloud computing industry stands to lose more like $180 billion,

    Oh noes! That's almost as much as much money lost due to coffee machine breakdowns in the break rooms of the country! Well, at least according to the Figures Outta My Ass Department.

    What I'm trying to figure out is... how does the use of more computational resources lead to a "loss"? The NSA needs a lot of "cloud" to process all that data they're collecting... Amazon and several other vendors have been jumping at the chance to create 'government cloud' services... several are in production now. Were these t

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The idea that businesses are going to jump ship because of NSA spying is ridiculous.

      Then you're not paying attention; some already have.

      For one thing, most countries are doing the same thing the NSA is doing.

      [citation needed]

      • by DeSigna (522207)

        Then you're not paying attention; some already have.

        Agreed. In every discussion I've had with customers about IaaS and cloud, the security aspect has been the #1 topic of conversation brought up by the customer. Closely followed by performance.

        Businesses of all sizes and industries are very interested in all this mess in the cloud space.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      In other words it isn't just the US cloud market that will lose money, it is the entire world. In my experience companies are quite concerned about security, even if they don't understand it.

    • by CRCulver (715279)

      The NSA needs a lot of "cloud" to process all that data they're collecting... Amazon and several other vendors have been jumping at the chance to create 'government cloud' services... several are in production now.

      Creation of computing infrastructure for a government three-letter agency does not compensate for loss of trade to other countries. Making something for the government does not contribute to the economy unless its innovations flow back to the market, as the government is using tax money raised fr

      • Making something for the government does not contribute to the economy unless its innovations flow back to the market, as the government is using tax money raised from the market to pay for it.

        You mean like, The Internet ?

        • by CRCulver (715279)
          The Internet didn't stay a government secret, and universities were involved pretty much from the get-go. That's a big difference from companies cashing in by providing three-letter agencies with technologies are going to stay classified for a good long time.
    • by gweihir (88907)

      Actually, European standard is that companies must protect their customer's data against spying, which may just mean that there is no legal way form them to out-source to US data-centers. In the past, the "save haven" fiction (equivalent data protection laws at the target location than at the source location) was used, but with the current scandal, that may just have gone out the window and processing personal data in the US or in infrastructure under US control or with US data access may now be illegal and

  • Two years to go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Okian Warrior (537106) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:23PM (#44579829) Homepage Journal

    It'll take about two years for this problem to disappear.

    There's an enormous monetary incentive for cloud services to implement good privacy. Anyone who doesn't implement it will get their lunch eaten by someone who does.

    There's already a massive exodus away from US based servers, both at home and abroad. People are thinking through the ramifications of having their sensitive information used as "incentives" to help business. Your client lists, sales information, costs and accounting - if any part of your local network is in the cloud, the US can rifle through it and trade the information to another company in return for help fighting terrorism. Many people will choose to believe that this is not happening, but what the heck - who can tell any more?

    This is a self-correcting problem.

    Mega has announced an encrypted E-mail service [mashable.com], the client software will be open for public inspection, and none of it will be hosted on US servers.

    Google has admitted [businessspectator.com.au] in court that they don't think users have an expectation of privacy.

    Which E-mail service would you rather use? The one from a sleazy convicted criminal, but with impenetrable security? Or the one from a company that always rifles through the contents, but promises to only do it for the better good?

    • Re:Two years to go (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:00PM (#44580009) Homepage

      The real question is will US three letter agencies bloated top heavy with for profit corporate contractors, simply indulge themselves in industrial espionage, there are just hundreds of billions to be made. Will they see an opportunity for inside trading on shares again billions to be made and just a key press away on the cloud.

      How many countries will be stupid enough to allow this to happen, not just in global markets but locally in their markets. How destructive could the US become in economic warfare, how destructive could all the for profit corporate contractors neck deep in US intelligence agencies in their quest for profits.

      Seriously will they resist the temptation to strip mine other countries economies, buy up all the assets and leave everyone beholding to the US. Stop and really think about what can be fiscally done when you have free access to the business cloud, every business email, every business phone call and can hack into every business network. Total global financial control and can't US corporations be trusted with that, ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT.

      • So you're saying that cyber-colonialism will be justified as "for security" or "terrorism." Genius.

        I guess the silver lining is that at least it won't poison, enslave, or indebt the locals, it's not establishing banana republics, and it wouldn't be fighting proxy wars and killing them as collateral damage (though I suppose that's obsolete, now they're automatically enemy combatants if they died from our bombs). That's kind of an improvement. Still a long shot from playing nice, but baby steps toward
    • Which E-mail service would you rather use? The one from a sleazy convicted criminal, but with impenetrable security? Or the one from a company that always rifles through the contents, but promises to only do it for the better good?

      Neither. I suppose I could do without.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      Which E-mail service would you rather use? The one from a sleazy convicted criminal, but with impenetrable security? Or the one from a company that always rifles through the contents, but promises to only do it for the better good?

      Neither. That's a classic false dilemma [wikipedia.org].

    • Re:Two years to go (Score:4, Insightful)

      by s.petry (762400) on Friday August 16, 2013 @12:28AM (#44580401)

      It's a much more complex fix which will basically cause an upheaval in all major current world powers in terms of throwing out politicians. What most people are not looking at with the Snowden leak is that the NSA and Germany were very clearly working hand in hand, sharing data on people that someone didn't like. The same can be said about the US and UK, and the US and France, and the US and Spain, etc.. etc... What makes you believe that those connections are simply bi-directional? There is a lot of anecdotal evidence which should make you question how deep this rabbit hole really goes.

      In many cases, the targets were people that did not agree with the politics in either country. Look at how effectively the US and Germany have shut down any and all political dissent. Media won't touch protesters except to mention the "unpatriotic criminals", police show up in mass at rallies and protests, protesters are detained harassed at the orders of higher ups. If it's illegal for the US to spy on citizens, how did they know an impromptu rally was happening in a certain location? The obvious answer is that someone else provided them data because that was a legal loophole.

      It's not just the US that needs to consider removing the political class and going back to what Socrates said when he defined the Republic. That change is needed very much globally. In case you didn't read Plato's "The Republic" Socrates was very clear than in order for a Government to serve the people, the people and government should never allow a Political class. Duties of Representation need to be shared among community members, not held by people willing to leach off of society.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Google has admitted [businessspectator.com.au] in court that they don't think users have an expectation of privacy.

      That's being blown out of proportion because Google's lawyers are echoing the Supreme Court ruling regarding your turning over information to any third party means that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

      “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.” Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 743-44 (1979). In particular, the Court noted that persons communicating through a service provided by an intermediary (in the Smith case, a telephone call routed through a telephone company) must necessarily expect that the communication will be subject to the intermediary’s systems. For example, the Court explained that in using the telephone, a person “voluntarily convey[s] numerical information to the telephone company and ‘expose[s]’ that information to its equipment in the ordinary course of business.”

      Still, with Google's complicity and other US firms having to help the NSA and FBI with warrant-less searches of data, the bigger issue is that our best and brightest in terms of Technology and revenue will take a big hit as more and more people around the world push away from their services. So

    • by wmac1 (2478314)

      Neither. An email service hosted in a data center in my own country by a local company.

      For my company I will use my own dedicated server in a local data center.

  • by buswolley (591500) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @10:31PM (#44579855) Journal
    My information is my private property.

    Why isn't there a "simple" host your own "data manager" for people that will be their "email, social, storage server"?

    If opensource had a cause, that should be it,

    • by buswolley (591500)
      And yes, I know I've failed to contribute code
    • by Nohea (142708)

      Look at the Tent project - http://tent.io [tent.io] . It is just getting started, but that is the vision.

    • by Aguazul2 (2591049)

      My information is my private property.
      Why isn't there a "simple" host your own "data manager" for people that will be their "email, social, storage server"?
      If opensource had a cause, that should be it,

      If everyone uses encrypted cloud storage, with the encryption performed on the local machine, that means that the only attack vector remaining to the NSA is your local machine. This means backdoors in your OS or your application software. For Open Source that means trying to sneak backdoors into open-source projects, or closed-source software commonly used on FLOSSy OSes. We should be prepared for the attack (e.g. should we trust Chrome builds from Google, for instance, since they are already compromised by

  • Ever since the Linux community forced Rob Enderle to quit his analyst job at Forrester [tgdaily.com]over all that SCO nonsense I just can't take Forrester seriously. Hee hee. Heeeeeeheeeee.... ha ha ha ha HA HA HA!!!!!!!1 I'm sedated now.

  • First of all, other countries also actively spy on their citizens and almost any place you can think of is going to allow it if they think it is in that nation's interest. Moving from the US to France or any other country does nothing but change the host country.

    Incidentally if your the type to stay up all night worried about the NSA boogeyman you'll want to remember that the NSA has pretty free reign /outside/ the US. It's a case where at least they have some legal restrictions within the US (you argue whe

    • I agree with that on the whole, but the NSA seems to be having a pretty free reign inside the country too lately. I could give a flying fuck through a rolling doughnut what the NSA does to people who aren't american citizens... as long as it's not a war crime or some kind of violation of universal human rights... pretty much anything we (or most other countries except us) signed a treaty saying is a bad thing we shouldn't even do to our enemies.

      But I do have a problem with them slurping up and keeping recor

  • Wonder what would be the economical impact of most of the countries of the world rejecting all agreements of protecting intellectual property with US. After all, if US don't respect the IP of their citizens/companies/government, they are violating those agreements.
  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:14PM (#44580087)
    I recently took a course on Cryptography and the guy basically showed that with system after system that if he could pick just the tiniest thread loose he just tossed the algorithm into the junk heap. One of the other mantras was don't roll your own; you don't have enough Phds. But when it came to things like AES he seemed pretty confident. At the time of the course I nodded my head and wasn't thinking paranoid thoughts. But if we have learned anything this last month it is that you can take your typical person you once dismissed as paranoid and multiply their ravings by 3.

    So my paranoid raving #1 is that they can break any of the common encryption schemes. Some mathematicians might say pshaw but hey this is now a post Snowden world. If commonly accepted encryption isn't broken then yay!

    But for those with real good data such as bankers who don't want the NSA handing the data over to Goldman Sachs (why not as they make for great conspiracy fodder) then I would only use one time pad encryption. Good luck finding a mathematically loose thread there. A simple way to do one time pad encryption is just like the old spies. You send say 5 people over to your destination each with a different 1TB memory chip containing truly random data. (radioactive decay, xored with rain xored with a lava lamp) Then when you transmit data you xor it through all 5 layers of random data.

    But as for the article if I were in Europe I would move my servers to Europe tomorrow. These government goons all think alike so I suspect that even the Euro police will cooperate anyway; they'll just deny it in a different accent. For instance, I sit in Canada and don't believe for one second that the local police wouldn't pee themselves with delight if the us Feds asked them to do something.

    So the giant rethink in many security setups will have to be EVERYTHING that I don't control is completely compromised. Even individual employees could be compromised. Thus I would only use data schemes that would require the blackmailing/threatening/screwing of many employees.

    But the simple reality is that this requires everyone to become a Rosa Parks. Every employee at these big companies needs to step out and spill the entire truth. If one person comes out they are Snowden II. If 100 come out the party is over.
    • by N1AK (864906)

      But as for the article if I were in Europe I would move my servers to Europe tomorrow. These government goons all think alike so I suspect that even the Euro police will cooperate anyway; they'll just deny it in a different accent.

      This is a good point and reasoning. It's easy to imagine that everyone is going to look for some super data haven, or that one doesn't exist so no one will do anything. Those are the two extreme views and sadly due to the wonders of internet arguing get most of the focus. Another

    • Very interesting post!

    • You send say 5 people over to your destination each with a different 1TB memory chip containing truly random data. (radioactive decay, xored with rain xored with a lava lamp) Then when you transmit data you xor it through all 5 layers of random data.

      Sorry to derail the conversation a bit, but if just one of your sources was truly random wouldn't that be enough? As far as I know you can't be more random than random.

  • the "loosing money" term.
    You can loose something which you own and not something which you "may" get, or not...
    Sounds similar to the same train of thought happening in brains of RIAA, MPAA folks and friends when they claim those fantastic numbers of "lost" revenue due to actions of others.

    Just a balloon of ideas in people's head goes poof...
    • "You can loose something which you own and not something which you "may" get"

      Actually, you can only loose something which you have leashed.

      You might have been thinking of "lose" instead.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      If your money is loose, try tightening it back down.
  • by Camael (1048726) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:22PM (#44580123)

    Because as much as they voice their displeasure, turning back isn't really an option for businesses using the cloud.

    Maybe in the US, but worldwide is a different matter. Governments could easily force the issue by forbidding the use of US cloud companies, especially for their companies that deal with issues of defence and national security.

    Lest you think its farfetched, China already bans the use of Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and FourSquare [ibtimes.co.uk] in China. Local alternatives such as Sina, Tencent, qq etc. took their places fairly quickly. After PRISM, more governments may follow suit.

    • by EmperorArthur (1113223) on Friday August 16, 2013 @12:11AM (#44580337)

      The EU is already considering requiring all companies to only use servers that comply with EU privacy regs. The US doesn't. That alone accounts for quite a bit of lost business. I'm pretty sure that in the face of, "Don't use US servers or we'll seize all your assets," that companies will reconsider the, "not an option."

      • by am 2k (217885)

        Not quite, the EU already requires adherence to the privacy regulations. The only thing that is discussed right now is the problem that it's officially ok to use the US, even though its companies actually aren't adhering to them.

  • by lionchild (581331) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @11:24PM (#44580131) Journal

    If big business, or any sort of business, that employs cloud computing models becomes truly concerned about the security of their data, that Big Brother is getting a copy of everything, then they'll either move their data outside the reach of Big Brother, they'll encrypt everything and leave a speed bump to be overcome, or they'll embed their own personnel in the data center so they'll know when a mysterious new server shows up that's mirroring their data traffic. Or, they'll not use cloud computing on someone else's cloud, they'll have their own, run by their own data center.

    Now, as for SMB, that's where you'll find a market for non-US based cloud systems, IMHO. And, being non-US, outside the reach of Big Brother, they may be willing to pay a little more, not a lot, than going rate for cloud systems that are US-based.

  • I believe it is realistic to say that turning back really isn't an option for businesses using the "internet". However those businesses don't have to go with an internet application or hosting vendor based out of the USA. I think it is realistic that some companies could look elsewhere. However most large and medium companies already doing business in or with the USA are unlikely to change many habits as they must already comply with a lot of regulation. It is also worth noting that no leaks have come out s

  • But Staten's real point is that when it comes down to it the cloud industry will likely not take much of a hit at all. Because as much as they voice their displeasure, turning back isn't really an option for businesses using the cloud.

    So let me see if I'm reading that correctly: The free market would not choose to use these services under these conditions, but it's OK because they're locked in, so fuck 'em. That's a helluva way to run an economy -- how could that attitude possibly bite us in the ass in the

  • The cost really depends on who Snowden leaks the SSL keys to doesn't it?

  • If you read the regulations on what various classifications mean (top secret meaning, exceptional harm to the US) you can get a grasp of why some content is classified the way it is. Given the Snowden leaks, the administration is quick to point out how those disclosures cause exceptional harm because our adversaries will change their communication techniques to mask our ability to find them. .... True enough this indicates exceptional harm to our Government... But harm to our businesses and our citizens is
    • Re:Facinating... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Friday August 16, 2013 @04:25AM (#44581295)

      The harm caused by exposing these programs isn't a result of their exposure -- the programs are harmful in their own right, whether or not they are exposed.

      Essentially you're arguing that if Warren Buffet murdered someone the government would be justified in keeping it a secret because exposing his crime would disrupt his economic contributions.

      • by mitcheli (894743)

        The harm caused by exposing these programs isn't a result of their exposure -- the programs are harmful in their own right, whether or not they are exposed.

        Ok, that logic is ridiculous. If that was applied then every classified military technology would be unjustified.

        • by zlives (2009072)

          the business harm can easily be mitigated by NSA not breaking the law. its not the secret military tech thats the issue here, its the secret breaking of the law by the entity that enforces the said law.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Let me guess you work for a three letter agency, that reasoning is utter tucking bullshit. The real reason these programs are classified is the military industrial complex has to much influence. American business would never have been harmed by these programs if they'd been implemented after an open public debate, the protest against then would have made SOPA and PIPA resestance look like nothing.

      Joe Six Pack might get DRM and the finer points of copyright law, but he understands we are going to read you

      • by mitcheli (894743)
        I'm not questioning the rightness or wrongness of the program. That's still very much up for debate, both through official channels and the general public, and no doubt and in no small part on Slashdot. That was the whole intent of why Snowden did what he did. But what I am mentioning is that the reason the program was classified as Top Secret is because releasing the information (which Snowden did) would cause exceptional harm to the US. ... $160B in damage in my book is definitely exceptional.
  • But I think they have a point about how businessess make decisions and manage risks.

    If you're a business leader working on a cloud migration of your data and processes, the cost of mitigating confidentiality risks can be as as low as the price of a big bucket of sand to bury your head in.

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