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NSA Spying Hurts California's Business

timothy posted 1 year,9 days | from the solution-is-obvious-everyone-spies dept.

United States 277

mspohr points out an opinion piece from Joe Mathews that "makes the argument that California's economic life depends on global connections. 'Our leading industries — shipping, tourism, technology, and entertainment — could not survive, much less prosper, without the trust and goodwill of foreigners. We are home to two of the world's busiest container ports, and we are a leading exporter of engineering, architectural, design, financial, insurance, legal, and educational services. All of our signature companies — Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Chevron, Disney — rely on sales and growth overseas. And our families and workplaces are full of foreigners; more than one in four of us were born abroad, and more than 50 countries have diaspora populations in California of more than 10,000.' It quotes John Dvorak: 'Our companies have billions and billions of dollars in overseas sales and none of the American companies can guarantee security from American spies. Does anyone but me think this is a problem for commerce?' It points out that: 'Asian governments and businesses are now moving their employees and systems off Google's Gmail and other U.S.-based systems, according to Asian news reports. German prosecutors are investigating some of the American surveillance. The issue is becoming a stumbling block in negotiations with the European Union over a new trade agreement. Technology experts are warning of a big loss of foreign business.' The article goes on to suggest that perhaps a California constitutional amendment confirming privacy rights might help (but would not guarantee a stop to Federal snooping)."

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277 comments

So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282869)

less foreigners == more american STEMs getting hired?

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282931)

More likely more unemployment, since you wont be able to sell anything connected to the net to foreign countries, ergo your markets will shrink considerably.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (2)

Ash Vince (602485) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282935)

less foreigners == more american STEMs getting hired?

Or the work just gets done overseas. It is probably roughly 50 / 50.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283137)

less foreigners == more american STEMs getting hired?

Or the work just gets done overseas. It is probably roughly 50 / 50.

Where it still gets spied on.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (4, Interesting)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283147)

less foreigners == more american STEMs getting hired?

Or the work just gets done overseas. It is probably roughly 50 / 50.

Unlikely. Trade has to be a huge net benefit otherwise it doesn't get done because the companies that are involved in it have to cover huge costs (transport; multinational lawyers; dealing with multiple regulations; insurance; security people; translations; business travel for sales; moving support people etc.). From the point of view of the place that it's done in, all those costs are employed people.

Furthermore, one country trades with many. Thus, for California which is effectively a trade hub, especially for IT services, the benefit is disproportionate.

In any case, this is unlikely in any way to influence the influx of poorer than you Indian workers coming for money. It's rather going to influence richer than you German and Swiss companies trying to buy things off you. When the company heads know that their customers might be spied on then they are breaking the law by outsourcing to the US. They may end up in jail and they have to move their work away from the US.

Difficult case in my view. The US approach that you shouldn't let your data be gathered, but once it is you have no control is not working. The European approach that the data should be under full control of the person who owns it clearly doesn't work properly for secret services. No idea how you restore trust now.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283449)

"The secrecy of correspondence, telephony and other confidential communications is inviolable". (Finnish constitution Section 10)

Difficult case in my view. The US approach that you shouldn't let your data be gathered, but once it is you have no control is not working

Guess, if I can / will use US based hosts or services for my EU-based startup. And I don't think I'm the only one who came to this conclusion.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282967)

This is talking about less foreign business for U.S.-based companies, e.g. European companies getting wary of hosting their stuff on a U.S.-based cloud provider. It is not discussing immigration, which doesn't have much to do with the NSA.

Less foreign business for U.S.-based companies would probably not increase the number of U.S.-based engineering jobs.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283087)

e.g. European companies getting wary of hosting their stuff on a U.S.-based cloud provider.

Which, sadly, is something people have already been warning about for some time.

That the PATRIOT act allowed the US to force US based companies to provide them this data has been known for some time. Many governments have policies which say you can't put anything into the cloud because it has a good chance of hitting a US controlled server and you would potentially have them accessing it.

Ever before this revelation came out, many people were pointing out that this was a very real possibility and likely already happening.

Now that it's been confirmed, people are suddenly realizing just how bad an idea it always was. But people have been identifying this as a risk for some time now.

This is a self inflicted injury.

Re:So this means more jobs for American STEMs? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283031)

less foreigners == more american STEMs getting hired?

yeah, more jobs picking apples and manufacturing produce which isn't high tech(provided you don't start poisoning it too).

Can somebody please rein in California? (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282875)

All this caring about what foreigners think sounds Unamerican to me.

Reason for secrecy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282891)

This is why it was necessary to keep the programs secret and why the leaks didn't do any good.

Re:Reason for secrecy (4, Funny)

ameen.ross (2498000) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282959)

That's the exact same reason why a murderer should be sure to always safely dispose of the victim's body, clean up traces and never speak to anyone about the crime. Confessing it will never do him any good...

Re:Reason for secrecy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283071)

apples and oranges comparison. It benefits society to know about and convict mudererers.

AC's point was to suggest that the bigger picture ramifications of the leaks outweighs the benefits. Not that I agree with that presumption but it's important not to conflate understanding with accepting.

Re:Reason for secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283397)

How does society benefit by having every little detail of everyone's life being spied upon?

Is your name Cold Fjord?

Re:Reason for secrecy (1)

evilviper (135110) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283133)

dispose of the victim's body, clean up traces and never speak to anyone about the crime. Confessing it will never do him any good...

Han Reiser might disagree.

Re:Reason for secrecy (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283199)

Exactly the opposite. This is why it was necessary that the programs never be started. I don't care if you're a private citizen, a church, a corporation, or a government. If you're committing acts that have to be kept SECRET, then you're doing something wrong. No, we don't need lurid details of your sex life behind closed doors - but yeah, we figure you're banging each other at night, Mr. and Mrs. Private citizen. No, we don't need to examine your church doctrine, we don't much care - but if you're having initiation orgies and human sacrifices that you are keeping secret, then it's WRONG. Businesses can have trade secrets of course, but deliveries, shipments, and financial transactions should be an open book for auditors. And, government. Yeah, we know you spy. It's cool, up to a point. But if you're a paranoid bunch of assholes who need to keep track of everyone and everything that happens - it's time for you to take a hike. We need a new government. It's really that simple. Remember - you work for us, not the other way around.

Re:Reason for secrecy (2)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283209)

It may be true. However, it is useless to talk about what if because it's been done and cannot be undone. No good to keep talking about this. What should be talking about is how to deal with it and how to recover from the damage.

Re:Reason for secrecy (4, Interesting)

cffrost (885375) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283319)

This is why it was necessary to keep the programs secret and why the leaks didn't do any good.

First of all, you had good reason to post anonymously: you should be ashamed of yourself. Secondly, your comment brings two quotes to mind:

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." — Eric Schmidt

"Security through obscurity is no security at all." — Bruce Schneier

That the revelation of these expensive, ineffectual, unethical, and unconstitutional programs may have harmful repercussions for national security and the economy is not (in my opinion) a good argument for secrecy, but an excellent argument for not starting such programs, shutting the existing ones down, and not starting similar ones in the future.

Re:Reason for secrecy (1)

init100 (915886) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283439)

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." — Eric Schmidt

That quote (or a variant thereof) is actually often used to defend government surveillance. It's a version of the "if you've got nothing to hide, you have no reason to oppose government surveillance" argument.

So Europeans don't spy? (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282895)

What does the dgse and other agencies do all day?
Xbox?

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (3, Funny)

mwissel (869864) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282927)

What does the dgse and other agencies do all day?

Evaluate the data they receive from NSA.

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282971)

I think you underestimate the homegrown capabilities of the EU intelligence services

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283213)

Silly. NSA is not any better than the European agencies, just better funded.

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (4, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282929)

Contain their own press, save or rig trade deals, hide or set up sex scandals, protect NATO com links, insider trading and contain any "public" outbreak of local crime. Help the USA and UK.

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282949)

Pointing out someone else also kills puppies is no basis for a defense for you killing puppies.

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283125)

Yet that time and again is what most Slashdotters say and celebrate with "+5: Insightful" every time another country is mentioned in this arena or any other. "So what, the USA [...]" and "It's not like no one else [...]" are the mainstays of our enlightened readership. There's no falling back to the excuse of "There's more than one person on Slashdot" -- when it occurs with such consistency, predictability, and overwhelming support of moderation across time, there might as well be.

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283157)

This is the internets, it is kittenz that are dying, not puppies.

Re:So Europeans don't spy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282961)

They try to sort out what US companies intercept by exploiting Chinese hardware backdoors. Tough job.

Whoooosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283009)

Congratulations for missing the point in the most American[tm] way possible. "No, look at them, then!"

Yeah, well, they just followed your lead to stay in the game, eh. I don't know what they'd done if you hadn't provided that lead, but that's hardly relevant, now is it? Be honest now, if you can. What's done is done, and it turns out it did went and done quite a bit of damage, and it's not being done with the doing damaging quite yet.

In a very real sense this situation was created by the USA. Whatever otherwise might have happened, putting your mark on things means you get to bear responsibility for the fall-out, too. It's very American[tm] to try to want to be the firstest and the bestest, except when things go pear-shaped, as they have, and then it's suddenly everybody else's fault because of what everybody else may have done, not because of what you did. How immature. That fine country of yours really just a gigantic kindergarten then?

Well, I have news for you, kiddo. YOU DID DO ALL THAT. That means IT IS YOUR FAULT.

You don't get to skirt that. And so it is up to you to fix it and to earn back the trust you just squandered. Throwing a tantrum isn't going to help you. You really do need to grow up.

Re:Whoooosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283195)

Where did he mention that he's American? For all you know, he/she could be a caring European with Euro-centric perspective who's not unlike many of the caring Americans around here with a US-centric perspective.

Re:Whoooosh (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283245)

Trust? WTF trusts us, anyway? Ignore everything and anything we may have done wrong prior to 9/11/01. Let's call that water under the bridge. WTF have we done SINCE 9/11/01 to earn or to bolster anyone trust in us? What has government done to earn the trust of US citizens, much less the trust of foreign citizens, corporations, or governments?

I'm having a very hard time seeing anything of the nature.

So... SECURE THE TECH! (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282911)

Seriously. We've been saying this for decades. Secure it.

Top to bottom encryption, compartmentalization, etc.

Make it so the NSA just can't tap your communication.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282979)

Seriously. We've been saying this for decades. Secure it.

Top to bottom encryption, compartmentalization, etc.

Make it so the NSA just can't tap your communication.

Microsoft helped the NSA get around their encryption [guardian.co.uk] . Securing technology only works as long as the company securing it does so against everyone. How can you tell whether the company you're working with has a quiet deal with the government?

I know one response will be "open source!", but how many people actually go through OS code looking for hidden back doors? And it's not like we can all run our own infrastructure, you've got to trust someone at some point, and how can you tell whether or not they've got a quiet deal going on in the background?

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283295)

Do not rely on the provider crypto.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283315)

Well, at least with open source, I can decide whom I want to trust, if anyone. With Microsoft or Apple, what are your choices? The various officers of either company can make statements that "You can trust us!" but there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that ANYONE can inspect the code to find those back doors.

I'm far less than competent at reading code, but I can actually step through some of it, with open source. I can do it openly, without fear of someone finding out that I "hacked" the code. I can look at it all day. If I find something that I don't like, I can contact someone - anyone - to find out what it is. My buddy, down the street, who is a little more competent than I am. People on a support forum, some of whom are actually competent. The developers themselves, if I think I've really got something.

Try that with Microsoft or Apple. You might want to consult with a good lawyer before doing so.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282989)

It doesn't really matter what encryption or security you use when the other end deliberitly forwards the unencrypted data to the NSA.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282997)

Isn't that one of the points of all of this controversy? Microsoft was confirmed to be engineering some of their systems (I believe Outlook/Hotmail in this case) so that the NSA could bypass the encryption. If they did it with a "cloud" service what reason is their to believe they aren't putting backdoors in other software. To a degree even that has been discovered, unpatched zero day exploits have apparently been funneled to the NSA for years.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283025)

Exporting Encryption is illegal, probably for this very reason.

Re: So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

John Howell (2861885) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283165)

Phew, I'm mad then the best encryption is made outside the USA so it doesn't have to be exported. Though this does mean is citizens may be restricted to the broken backdoored systems.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

kav2k (1545689) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283179)

So is importing, in some countries.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283029)

You would have to go for an air gap.
With trade deals US cloud providers start to whine and put pressure on the US gov.
The result is demands from the US gov like this:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/trade-war-up-in-the-clouds-20120529-1zhpg.html [smh.com.au]
"‘Concerns that laws such as the Patriot Act offer the US government carte blanche to obtain private data from US providers are misplaced"
We should have listened to our own experts and air gapped much more :)

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (3, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283103)

Air gapping isn't good enough because that only concerns hacking.

What about intentional collusion between your service provider and a third party? THAT is at least half the problem.

Many companies do have good security that would give the NSA a hard time. BUT all the NSA has to do is make a phone call and the company just hands over the data.

That is unacceptable. As a result, systems need to be set up in such a way that information is decentralized thus making it harder for any one source to compromise you entirely. And the information must be encrypted using private encryption keys that the company doesn't have access to... That is, they store and transfer your data but they don't decrypt it. It decrypts and is encrypted on your systems.

Its really all about control and "what is possible"... To make ourselves secure, we need to make it more and more impossible to get data. Make it theoretically unlikely or literally impossible for them to breach your data without basically blackjacking you and then water boarding the information out of you.

There are systems that cannot be breached. They are generally very inefficient but we have processing power, storage, and bandwidth to spare. Especially concerning high security data we can afford to make our systems literally unhackable.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283427)

A proper air gap, in which your own data is stored on your own servers, and only accessed under rigorous guidelines, wouldn't be crossing your ISP's infrastructure. Therefore - the ISP can't hand it over to the government. No one can reach what is inaccessible from the internet, unless then come in to your place of business, to gain physical access to your servers. That might be done with a secret warrant from a secret court - but the moment they come through your doors, it's no longer very secret. You KNOW that the government is snooping through your data, and you KNOW that you've been compromised.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283381)

"American envoys are now pressing the Australian government to alter its official guidelines on data security."

Don't do it. It's a trap, plain and simple. "Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly."

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283051)

but if it's done in america you can't trust the compartmentalization. maybe through open source, but even then it's a bit iffy.
you see, the problem is that you can't trust that the american offices weren't visited by men in black.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (3, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283167)

The point is not for any one thing to make you 100 percent bullet proof.

The point is to make getting your data without your approval annoying, inefficient, and incomplete.

When we over centralize and give our hosting companies total access to our data then there is only one place the "men in black" need to go to get everything. They don't need to force hack anything because the company will just give up the security keys.

Break things up while avoiding big companies that it becomes unlikely that your host will have any "deal" with the NSA or FBI.

Furthermore, no reason for the host to even be able to give the NSA what they want. Use them to HOST your data... not manage its encryption.

There are methods of encryption that can't be breached or are so difficult to breach that they'll be secure for generations. That's good enough. When the NSA wants your data they're going to have a very short attention span about it. Tell them it will take 10 years of super computer time to break something and they'll opt for plan B... which might be actually sending you a court summons or something.

Point being... we're making it too easy for the NSA by over centralizing and placing too much trust in our hosts. Reverse that policy and the NSA will find very little they can exploit.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

ewieling (90662) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283375)

I thought plan B was for them to hit you with a $2 wrench until you tell them your encryption key?

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283141)

Well, they're bringing quantum computing online, or so they say. Likely the death knell for PKI. At least, you have to assume that at some point it will be breakable in real-time, or that key-loggers or factory back-doored CPUs, radios, cams, routers, NICs, disks, and so on are operating. It could be prudent for some people to begin, uh, freeing up disk space now, not later, as well. So I'm told. I would know myself, of course.

One thing's for sure. Privacy is neither a postive right, nor a positive attribute. It's hardly even an attribute, more a contextual or relational artifact. You cannot even attempt to define it unambigously legally or constitutionally without destroying it. The best you can do is define informational prurience, which the state can always find some justification for, not just exercising, but monopolizing. Worse, you can consider any such attempt to have such a motive in mind, however innocently couched.

But, what you said. Just please don't ask legislatures or "governances" to do that, either.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283205)

Point me to a secure and easy to use for the regular user system, and I'm all for implementing it.

Currently, what we have is PGP. This is great for people who know what the terms X.509, 2048bit RSA, and certificate revocation list mean and why these things are important. However, it doesn't help Bob in Accounting get his TPS report to Simon in Management very quickly. It's awkward and it's cumbersome for anyone who doesn't have quite an in-depth knowledge of the technologies involved.

Re:So... SECURE THE TECH! (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283455)

That is what they are doing. One step in securing the tech is to limit the number of back doors. Apparently, the best way to do this presently is to have as little US tech involved as possible.

What're you gonna do? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282939)

Seccede from the union? Then you're just as much a furriner to the NSA as the rest of the world. And thus fair game to spying operations that have gotten a little out of hand. To the point that you can no longer say "don't do that" to the people doing it. It is so much out of control that you have to shut down the machine entirely and scap it. And please don't rebuild it, not even from scratch.

This also shows how utterly provincial the USoA really is. It takes an outlier like California to look outside the borders with anything but thinly-veiled suspicion. And that also means that the USoA is not really fit for playing the world's neighbourhood cop, since that is a position of trust, not power. It doesn't surprise, then, that there's quite a difference between how the rest of the world sees what it's done and the stellar job it itself thinks it has done.

Re:What're you gonna do? (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283101)

Who's talking about secession? Are we just making shit up now?

Ah, the ancient sport of looking down on Americans as uncultured slobs. Centuries go by and this pastime is evergreen. It never, ever gets old and the arguments are the same as they have always been.

Political Correctness (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283247)

Ah, the ancient sport of looking down on Americans as uncultured slobs. Centuries go by and this pastime is evergreen. It never, ever gets old and the arguments are the same as they have always been.

Ah, the ancient Slashdot sport of getting all "offended" and wailing the instant someone says something "insensitive" about America.

Just California? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282943)

Christ, I know the US likes to pretend it is at the centre of the friggin' universe and that nothing exists beyond their borders... But hell, you guys have the same problem internally?

That NSA shit is bad for all of you. Never mind California. You all better start wisening up and do something about the fuck heads you gave all your power to. What do you think would happen if the rest of the world woke up and decided to put trade blockades in place over any technological product the NSA could potentially have their fingers in?

Re:Just California? (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283091)

I remember telling a friend on 9-11 that we would do way more damage to OURSELVES with our response to 9-11 than 9-11 or any other terrorist attack would ever do directly. That's the whole point of terrorism, really. The amount of lives we've lost (and took) since, the economic damage we've done, the national debt we've incurred, the international goodwill we've squandered--they all make the actual damage done by direct terrorist attacks pale in comparison.

And I was hardly alone in seeing this coming. But the U.S. government still played out the script almost exactly as expected, right down to the internment camps, the curtailing of civil liberties, the assassinations, the spying, etc. It's like a historical play that we NEVER LEARN FROM.

Snitches are bitches (-1, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282951)

And WHO, might I asked, tipped off these "Asian governments and businesses"?

If America is losing business, blame your culture of coddling attention-seeking little bitches like Snowden.

Re:Snitches are bitches (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283015)

If America is losing business, blame your culture of coddling attention-seeking little bitches like Snowden.

Because heaven forbid you blame it on your sense of entitlement to spy on everybody.

Sorry, but if you think this is entirely the fault of people who pointed out that the US does this, you've lost the plot.

If ever that had come to light, the response would have been the same.

Now that it's been demonstrated that American industry are government lapdogs who will roll over at the first sign from their masters, of course people are going to cut and run and stop trusting them. They're no less trustworthy now than a few weeks ago -- it's just that now we know you can't trust them and haven't been able to for some time.

Fuck your business and your shareholder value. You made this mess, not us.

Re:Snitches are bitches (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283135)

Everyone spies. The French and the British have just been busted doing it, to a far greater extent than the US. Read about 'full take' if you don't know what I'm talking about.

The fact that Snowden is being lauded as some kind of hero, when he's just a mindless, mentally ill vandal, who's destroying people's jobs, business and livelihoods everywhere, is unbelievable.

Don't buy the basement-dweller libertarian hype.

Re:Snitches are bitches (1)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283437)

Did "Snowden" make so many trusted US 'brands' hand over their crypto? They seem to do that as part of some "everyday" commercial event as hardware and software upgrades.
Not a word from their legal teams, no CEO in court talking of your right to privacy.
How could any agency spy "far greater extent than the US"? The Soviets had orbital options and needed to move huge spy ships around for limited regional efforts, the UK had cash flow problems and has to use US computers/software...the French seem to focus on their own past glory, nuclear security and trade deals.
NATO was told to use US/UK crypto as it was safe, cheap and would ensure future US "help'.
Germany can only link its own telco network to one point and gift it all to the NSA. The BND efforts end up in the German press.
Canada? They gave up to the NSA in the 1950's.
Japan? Note all the US bases... South Africa at some point in the past? The USA helped them track down Communists via their phone network.
Snowden has been busy over many years....
Any spy agency could tell what the US was doing from the 1950's onwards. By the mid 1970's you had books, magazines... court cases.

They voted for it (0, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282963)

Californians voted for bigger, more intrusive government. They got it. They should accept the consequences.

Re:They voted for it (1)

liamevo (1358257) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283003)

Would you like to explain what you mean, or do you just want to post bumper sticker-esque nonsense?

Re:They voted for it (3, Insightful)

asylumx (881307) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283007)

Oh, I see what you're doing. You're insinuating that this is all Obama's doing, as if this hasn't been the Government trend for many decades. It's funny that they've got you believing this is a difference between political parties.

Re:They voted for it (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283359)

Californians are responsible for the Obama Administration because they voted for him. California's two Senators are Obama Administration allies, so they're unlikely to help rein in the government they support. Californians didn't vote for Bush, so they aren't responsible for his policies in the same way.

Californians should start supporting smaller, less intrusive government if they don't want to accept the consequences of having a huge, powerful, active government.

You can't keep accepting the idea that government knows best and then complain when government doesn't do the right things.

Re:They voted for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283043)

Did they really? GW Bush started the spying program, and Californians voted against that. Then Obama ran on a platform that included reversing that change. Californians voted in favor of that. Of course, now we know Obama lied or changed his mind on his promises*, but it isn't like the other major party actually has a platform against the patriot act or warrantless wiretaps.

* I voted green for that exact reason.

Re:They voted for it (3, Informative)

cffrost (885375) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283459)

Californians voted for bigger, more intrusive government. They got it. They should accept the consequences.

Just California? Neither Gary Johnson nor Jill Stein won any states.

US considered hostile (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282965)

Don't use US services.

Are you surprised? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282973)

If you demonstrate that your industry is an arm of state surveillance, why would you be surprised that when this is revealed people stop trusting you?

Every other country in the world now more or less has to assume that these American companies can (and will) provide their data for US national intelligence -- at which point the logical choice is to stop using those US companies.

Much like if companies from another country were found to be enabling widespread spying on US citizens, there would be outcry in the US and backlash.

I don't see why anybody should be surprised that if you undermine trust, there will be consequences.

Some of these companies were already very casual with what they were collecting (eg Google and the wifi passwords when doing Street View). If they were likely handing this kind of stuff over to the US government, even less so.

Once damaged, trust is a very difficult thing to get back. If Google and everyone else though they were under scrutiny for their privacy policies before, then they should really expect a lot more of it.

Re:Are you surprised? (2)

BSAtHome (455370) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282981)

It is called "blowback". No surprise there.

Speculation and nothing more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283063)

When I start seeing sales drop in the quarterly statements of the mentioned companies, then I may consider that NSA surveillance may be the cause.

If sales actually drop AND surveys indicates that it is because foreign entities are concerned about US spying - showing a causal relationship then, I will believe it.

After all, it has been suggested that the Chinese were putting spying software into Lenovo comuters and it's done nothing to hurt their sales.

Re:Are you surprised? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283073)

If you demonstrate that your industry is an arm of state surveillance, why would you be surprised that when this is revealed people stop trusting you?

No one is surprised, and suggesting otherwise is disingenuous douchebaggery. Just as when a slashdot headline is a question the answer is no, so too is the answer no when a comment title asks one.

I don't see why anybody should be surprised that if you undermine trust, there will be consequences.

I can't even figure out on what specious basis you're claiming that people are surprised.

Re:Are you surprised? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283285)

I can't even figure out on what specious basis you're claiming that people are surprised.

The entire tone of TFA is one of "what happens now". It's full of things like:

Will tourists balk at visiting us because they fear U.S. monitoring? Will overseas business owners think twice about trading with us because they fear that their communications might be intercepted and used for commercial gain by American competitors? Most chilling of all: Will foreigners stop using the products and services of California technology and media companies â" Facebook, Google, Skype, and Apple among them â" that have been accomplices (they say unwillingly) to the federal surveillance?

I'm not saying nobody didn't see this as a possible outcome -- but it certainly reads like now that people are realizing the potential scope of the impact they're wondering what they can do to mitigate it.

Even before this was revealed many people were already saying that, due to the PATRIOT Act, you shouldn't be trusting these companies with your data. Now it's been confirmed. US based cloud services might suddenly find a lot of doors closed to them -- it's not a surprise in the "wow, who saw that coming?" send, but people are acting like the "what next" part is coming as a surprise.

Hell, I'd go so far as to say that a lot of these companies should have been saying to themselves "if this ever gets out, there is a real chance of business risk". Now that it has, there is. If they didn't have a plan in place for what to do, then that's their problem.

Monday (4, Interesting)

coofercat (719737) | 1 year,9 days | (#44282975)

It's a Monday, and /. is stating the bleedin' obvious.

What's less obvious is how much NSA snooping hurts US companies. I doubt it's nearly enough to be able to call it a justification for dismantling the infrastructure.

Re:Monday (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283039)

NSA snoops the foreign countries and tries to put America in better position for treaties. They may also snoop foreign companies trade secrets as "rewards" for US companies helping them out. On the other hand, the snooping causes American businesses.

Whichever side have the loudest lobbying team to the congress would win in this race.

Re:Monday (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283233)

On the other hand, the snooping causes American businesses.

So you're saying the entire American business is based on fraud?

Re:Monday (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283207)

I doubt it's nearly enough to be able to call it a justification for dismantling the infrastructure.

It also assumes that the American ruling / political class give a shit about jobs and a functioning, growing economy. It seems to me that while they pay devoted lip service to the subject their actions show they really couldn't give a toss.

I don't think they'd care if it was a burning wasteland, as long as they were top dog.

one-sided (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282991)

Other countries pull back from the US from the *fear* of spying and theft. American companies, on the other hand, keep pumping in: Money, equipment, and even technical know-how even though we know this happens. Just as long as the labor is cheap. This is considered a a manufacturing best practice.

This short-term view is also irrational. Even our closest allies fight tooth & nail to protect their industries--see Korea and Japan for their domestic agriculture and automobile tariffs.

Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44282995)

Why is Skype listed there. It originated from eastern europe and is owned by Microsoft, neither of which are based in California.

Re:Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283055)

I can't find any mention of Skype.

Anti-terrorism is an excuse (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283001)

Anti-terrorism is the excuse for spying. Business is the real purpose. When the countries we spy on the most can be ranked in terms of size of economy, there is no fucking way the government can keep claiming that the purpose for these spying programs is anything other than to keep the powerful people powerful.

For example, revelations were made that we target Germany for spying. It only makes sense if you look at the size of the economies. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/nsa-spies-on-500-million-german-data-connections-a-908648.html [spiegel.de]

Yes, NSA spying will hurt California's business.. and it should. Instead of giving in to the secret government's secret demands, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and everyone else should be fighting these anti-democratic efforts tooth and nail.

Re:Anti-terrorism is an excuse (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283079)

Yes, NSA spying will hurt California's business.. and it should. Instead of giving in to the secret government's secret demands, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and everyone else should be fighting these anti-democratic efforts tooth and nail.

It's too late. IBM and Microsoft have both been in bed with government since time was time, for them anyway. Social networks and other data aggregators are also obvious allies; the aggregators can't even do what they do without government complicity.

Re:Anti-terrorism is an excuse (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283097)

I didn't see any indication that Germany was targeted more than say, France or Brazil, which tends to disprove your assertion. i.e. I didn't see a scale where amount of spying correlated to size of economy.

Don't complain (5, Interesting)

Cynops (635428) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283019)

German citizen here, and one working it IT Security for almost two decades now. I have been advocating the use of strong encryption and keeping the crown jewels "in the house" to my employers and customers all the time, but managers would often not listen in order to save the odd buck on the next outsourcing deal.

By launching and funding the spy programmes the US government has willingly accepted possibly detrimental effects on the economy.

In my opinion it serves the US companies right that finally the time has come that companies and people all over the world actually start looking at whom they make business with. The USA have decided to spy on every single person on this planet - OK, but now don't complain that this hurts your economy. If US companies don't like what's happening then they should complain to your government and make them change things.

A lot of trust has been destroyed, and it will take the US economy some effort to regain it. Work hard, and maybe some day in the future I will no longer advise my customers and friends to avoid US services.

What about american stock holders? (5, Interesting)

Marrow (195242) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283027)

We repeatedly hear that NSA is spying for industrial reasons. To give advantage to American companies. But the NYSE is full of foreign companies that are traded here. And those companies are in complex derivative markets. And the retirement portfolios of Americans. If its an truly international market now, but American companies are benefiting from the spying, then Americans are being hurt. Perhaps the difference is that foreign companies cannot contribute to politicians and political parties. Maybe that is the difference.

who?? (0)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283035)

>Does anyone but me think this is a problem for commerce?'
John Dvorak!, does anyone care why this guy cries in his sleep? The facts are ....the world has changed, get over it man, move on, we can never go backwards...it's like saying you wish you could still hunt mammoths in your bunny rabbit slippers with sticks....those days are gone. China has made damn sure of this, or USA has made damn sure to let us think that China has made sure of this. Take your pick.

Why not blame the companies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283041)

I'm not 100% up to date on all the news that's coming out on these leaks, but I remember seeing an article where HP is installing back doors to its hardware. And it's common knowledge that Apple colluded with publishers to artificially inflate e-book prices. It, doesn't take much Googling to find all the conspiracy theories behind Disney, and there's always someone comaplaining about Chevron(and the other similar vendors).

Why not blame the companies themselves for being dishonest?

Also, if "...none of the American companies can guarantee security from American spies." is a problem in negotiations with the EU, then the EU should talk to Russia on how to stop it. I bet they know how.

Actually not quite true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283045)

Perhaps *if* you have the right connections you might profit for a little bit of industrial espionage. Write a letter to your Congressman/woman

NSA cannot not spy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283085)

That's their business. And it's not the spying that hurts the business, but the revelation if it.

Call me cynical; I'll call you naive if you thing the world would be better off without the spying.

Re:NSA cannot not spy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283363)

Spying and mass surveillance of everyone and everything are different things are they not?

A defense contractor I consulted to refused using (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283119)

closed source software because of such concerns. Over the previous 5 years all their local competitors have seen issues with industrial espionage and data theft which took a few of them out of business since the government wouldn't deal with them any longer.
        When I came to consult for them, they had PCs installed with 8 LAN cards to function as l3 switches, their printers were behind a print server since they didn't trust the firmware and the staff was depositing their phones on entry to the facilities. This was all just their internal network which was physically isolated from the Internet. They had separate machines with no cd drives or usb ports that were painted red for handling emails. If any significant data was to be shared with another party, they would physically come to the facilities or would be met at their facilities with a security team and an engineer carrying a laptop.
        I was asked what can be done regarding cellphones since they wanted to allow their employees to use them and wanted some input from an outsider. I replied "Nothing." Detailed some, and took my standard commission.
        Every now and again they approach me with some proposal from some firm offering said service\product. Every time I review the proposal and raise the kind of security concerns they eventually reply "our property encryption..." I'm lucky enough that the CEO is a CS major so whenever I get them to spew that line, I get my check on the spot. One time I didn't even bother collecting since the entire ordeal was a 10 minutes conference call I took at home over lunch. :)
        I'm probably stating the obvious here, but this contractor doesn't leak. Ever. To the point I have no clue what it is they're actually working on. Something tells me half their staff isn't too sure about what they're doing either.

You need tech, not a law (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283121)

The article goes on to suggest that perhaps a California constitutional amendment confirming privacy rights might help (but would not guarantee a stop to Federal snooping).

The lack of guarantee is why it's pointless. If you want things to be secure, then make 'em secure. Then laws won't matter.

Is this ass-covering? (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283139)

To be quite honest, California hurts California's business. This sounds like a fig-leaf excuse. "Oh, they're not investing because of some reason that's not our fault!" Tailor-made for CYA, an all-too-convenient cureall for a fire under your ass.

No, they're not investing because California has gone to great lengths to create a climate that is openly hostile to new business, and all business in general. But I expect the fig-leaf to work because the people who get the policies passed are not the same ones who have to answer for them.

Indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283307)

Last thing I heard, we have scrapped the tought of outsourcing our Exhange setup(or moving into the cloud as the bosses say).
Also since we have our own "cloud" spread over 2 locations with complete hardware redundancy, including storage, it is easier for us to keep it local.

It seems to me that reality finally caught up with management and they no longer trust that the companys information will stay inside.
Before, a limited number of users were allowed(through company policy and firewall unblocking) to use services such as Dropbox to communicate with external partners regarding less critical files, such as fabrication of print material, but now they want us to have our own "Dropbox" solution too.

I'd say that we are going to buy more hardware but less online services.

minimal trade = better trade (1)

noshellswill (598066) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283337)

Since America runs a foreign-trade **deficit**, then any reduction in trade helps provide (net) employment  for American workers.  Nothing is more important. No chi.com B1z or narco.MEX chicken.pickers either.  Make capitol chase (citizen) labor. Sure --- some investment sharpies  and market gamblers get screwed, but they have-it-coming. No loss. We spit on their shrivelled bodies in the gutter.

Enjoy their  newly impoverished wives and daughters also as they get used to the "street" ... hehehe ... So please ... increase the intrusive spying on foreign producers and chase them the hell-away! Use-it-here / make-it-here is the best policy for working American producers of concrete needed good and services.

The NSA knows I bought tickets to Book of Mormon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283341)

Oh no. They'll tell everyone i went.

Easy Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283379)

Americans, live up to your constitution. In spirit, and not just in words. In actions and not just in rhetoric. Your move.

Stop Deluding yourself (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283395)

Foreigners have never had, and never will have any trust or goodwill for any part or the whole of the US.

business man can lobby government (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44283407)

This is a good thing, if companies start to remove their service from US will make business man to lobby government to be more clear about prism and give more privacy to data stored on US territory. Brazil wants to approve a law that makes Google, Facebook and others companies to store user information inside Brazil. Countries worried about Prism can start to do laws like this and damage California`s Business for sure. Brazil wants to nationalize servers (http://tinyurl.com/p2l56nu Google Translation)

Not a bit (1, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283479)

There's not going to be any problem with anyone hosting anything in the US. What do you think all these lovely "trade agreements" are about?

The NSA will promise to "partner" with friendly foreign intelligence services and it will all be one big happy family except daddy has his hand under your skirt.

I guess the best we can hope for now is that there are some more brave whistleblowers out there who will risk their lives to keep this story front and center. And if that fails, the best we can hope for is that there are some brave saboteurs.

I have bad news for non USians (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | 1 year,9 days | (#44283499)

Are you considering not dealing with the US over concern that the NSA is spying on your communications which pass through the US? I ask because the CIA are spying on pretty much every one else internationally. Oh, and should you feel that other countries are *not* spying on your communications...well, that's the kind of naivete they're counting on so that they can expect that you won't be moving to any annoying end-to-end communication encryption any time soon.

Have a great day!

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