NSA Spying Is Costing U.S. Tech Companies Business

Which spells opportunity for foreign tech companies.

NSA Spying Is Costing U.S. Tech Companies Business
[Image: Flickr user Andrea Schaffer]

Tech companies are losing foreign clients in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s revelation of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, reports the New York Times. President Obama is scheduled to meet with leaders of tech companies, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Friday to further discuss NSA spying.

Though there aren’t dollar figures for the hit tech companies have taken, the Times points to examples, including Microsoft losing the government of Brazil as a client. This is bad news for U.S. tech companies, but has spelled opportunity for foreign firms. For example, Norwegian email service Runbox, which says it doesn’t comply with foreign court orders for personal information, has seen a 34% annual increase in customers after details about the NSA’s surveillance program emerged.

Meanwhile, American tech companies are spending millions, possibly billions, to add security encryption features to consumer products. IBM, for example, has said it will spend $1.2 billion to build new data centers outside the U.S.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.