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NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race To Create Offshore Havens For Data Privacy 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-a-lid-on-it dept.
schwit1 writes "Some European leaders are renewing calls for a 'euro cloud,' in which consumer data could be shared within Europe but not outside the region. Brazil is fast-tracking a vote on a once-dormant bill that could require that data about Brazilians be stored on servers in the country. And India plans to ban government employees from using email services from Google and Yahoo Inc. It is too soon to tell if a major shift is under way. But the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimates that fallout from revelations about NSA activities could cost Silicon Valley up to $35 billion in annual revenue, much of it from lost overseas business. A survey conducted this summer by the Cloud Security Alliance, an industry group, found that 56% of non-U.S. members said security concerns made it less likely that they would use U.S.-based cloud services. Ten percent said they had canceled a contract. Even some companies that seek to profit from fears about U.S. snooping acknowledge that law-enforcement agencies in other countries want to catch up with Washington's capabilities. 'In the long run, there won't be any difference between what the U.S. or Germany or France or the U.K. is doing,' says Roberto Valerio, whose German cloud-storage company, CloudSafe GmbH, reports a 25% rise in business since the NSA revelations. 'At the end of the day, some agency will spy on you,' he says."
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NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race To Create Offshore Havens For Data Privacy

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  • Sealand... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:28AM (#44991789)

    Is it still up for sale?

  • Spot on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rogueippacket (1977626) on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:33AM (#44991827)
    I'm glad that someone is attempting to quantify this. As someone who works in sales for hosted services, I saw this trend emerge virtually overnight with the Snowden leaks - the complete erosion of trust for any service hosted in the U.S., even if the actual, measurable impact to date any of my customers of being spied upon is exactly nil.
    Now if only someone would compare the impact to the NSA's operating budget and draw some lines, things might get better. I've been called an optimist before, however.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:44AM (#44991937)

    Before all this, people didn't even think about creating a real competitor for Google or Amazon. Now we can expect some real options for these services soon. This is good news for everyone, thank you USA!

    Working for a Europe-based Dropbox competitor, we have seen a truly massive increase in interest and sales after the NSA revelations.

  • by Balinares (316703) on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:47AM (#44991979)

    Countries like France and UK, yeah, absolutely. Germany... is slightly more touchy about issues pertaining to surveillance and the general topic of totalitarianism, for some reason.

    Iceland overthrew its government when said government wouldn't jail bankers. If Iceland says they ain't going to spy on people because fuck that, I would lean toward cautiously trusting them.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Monday September 30, 2013 @10:54AM (#44992065) Journal

    Pretty much. Governments have long recognized that the existence of a decentralized packet-switched network makes spying on its citizens harder. Therefore, their goal is to break the Internet, splitting it off into lots of little regional networks that don't fully talk to one another, requiring companies to store data on their citizens in country-specific servers so that it is easier to keep track of everything that's happening, etc. Government would love to go all the way back to the circuit-switched days of mainframe computing if they could.

    This is why we, as citizens of the world, must unite to demand more reasonable policies, starting with laws that fine companies an exorbitant amount of money for sharing information about their citizens with foreign governments without a warrant from the citizens' governments. If Google were hit with a million dollar fine every time it obeyed an NSL without getting a court order from whatever country the target was from, Google would then be forced to sue the federal government to reclaim those damages, forcing the U.S. government to act like a proper player on the world stage instead of a world-class thug that bullies its way into whatever information it wants.

  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Monday September 30, 2013 @11:26AM (#44992441) Homepage Journal

    Yea, we had to have a special network connection through the American Embassy in France so we could exchange e-mail without the French reading the emails. We put it into place when the French would ask about something that was only disclosed in the email.

    [John]

  • Re:Spot on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday September 30, 2013 @11:33AM (#44992499) Homepage

    The fact that we don't know just makes it worse. We have to assume that the entire US and everything in it is compromised.

    For the moment, I'd say that is a wise assumption. If I were a non-US corporation or person I'd be assuming the exact same thing. Until there is a full, detailed accounting--of the uncomfortable "truth commission" variety--all but the staunchest pro-authoritarian Americans will believe it anyway, so there's no sense delaying what absolutely has to happen.

    It may yet be that the capitalist interests that the NSA are damaging might in the long-run have to expend considerable lobbying dollars to reverse some of this perception by drastically reining in the NSA. Or we can write-off a good chunk of the money we'd have otherwise made by innovating online.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday September 30, 2013 @11:42AM (#44992597)

    And China has been accused of it many, many times - they barely even bother to hide it. Every country does it, then acts outraged when all the others do too.

  • by V for Vendetta (1204898) on Monday September 30, 2013 @12:37PM (#44993253)

    Germany... is slightly more touchy about issues pertaining to surveillance and the general topic of totalitarianism, for some reason.

    Yes, we (the German people) are. No, we (the German government) are not. The later will happily share whatever they acquire with its "friends" in Europe and overseas.

    Technically both NSA and BND/Verfassungschutz are not spying on their own people ... but if the BND spies on Americans and the NSA spies on Germans and both swap their findings, all laws were respected.

    I'm not making this weird shit up, that's actually how our government argued in this affair. Granted the wording they used was of course more not-so-obvious politian-speak. But that's what they said.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 30, 2013 @12:56PM (#44993475)

    The big difference is...if a company is based in the USA the NSA can ask for practically anything, backdoors, etc and that company has to comply or shutdown. I do not think this is true for a company say for example based in Portugal (or Andora, or some other EU country which is not big on spying), there is perhaps no such legal framework forcing companies to insert backdoors.

    This is true. We only have to give up customer data when handed specific official court orders (specific for the customer and case in question). It might be hard for Americans to believe after all their NSA revelations, but our law enforcement simply don't have similar blanket powers to request access without going through due process. We actually give customers a guarantee on this, and this guarantee is not written in a clever way to give NSA type loopholes.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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