The cost of NSA leaks on cloud computing

By Marc Castro

Aug 10, 2013 02:51 PM EDT

Lavabit, the secure email service utilized by Edward Snowden, forced itself to shut down in order to avoid alleged 'crimes against the American people'. In his message, Lavabit founder Ladar Levison's was cryptic as to the reasons to the sudden closure. 

According to a CNET interview, Levison said "For me it wasn't about protecting a single userbut protecting the privacy of all my users."  He added, "I believe that people have the right to know what their government is doing, I had an issue with me doing what they wanted me to do without them disclosing it." 

In another interview, this time with Forbes, "The government tried to bully me, and [my lawyer] has been instrumental in protecting me, but it's amazing the lengths they've gone to to accomplish their goals." 

The Snowden affair has a far reaching effect, especially cloud technology. According to a report of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the short term dollar costs of the NSA leak scandal amounts to between US$21.5 billion and US$35 billion in the next three years. 

The basis of the estimates from ITIF stems from a presumption that 10% of officials at non-US companies, resulting in cancelled contracts. This stems from market hesitance in the wake of the leaks from US cloud based operators.

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