Economic Forces Fighting Back Against Mass Surveillance
The NSA and it’s partners are also getting hit where it hurts … in their ability to hire and keep personnel, and in the pocketbook:
- Foreign Policy notes:
Applications to work at the NSA are down by more than one third, and retention rates have also declined. This is a serious problem for an agency that, until now, has thrived because of an esprit de corps within the organization. Traditionally, when analysts joined the NSA, they joined for life. This is changing, and not for the better from the NSA’s perspective.
- Mathematicians are calling for a boycott of the NSA (the NSA is the largest employer of mathematicians on the planet)
- An IBM shareholder group – the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension & Relief Fund – has sued IBM for cooperating with the NSA … since that cooperation has destroyed IBM’s sales to China (as we noted in July, the failure of tech companies to disclose their participation in mass surveillance violates fair disclosure requirements … that is, the requirement to disclose “materially adverse information” which could hurt a company’s value)
- ATT and Verizon shareholders are exerting tremendous pressure to disclose the amount of information they’re sharing with the NSA
- For example, Cisco has attributed plummeting sales to NSA spying
- And foreign companies are using their non-American status as a competitive advantage in competing for cloud storage customers and web users. And see this
- The BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are building their own Internet cable to bypass the U.S. and the 5 eyes altogether
- And the EU is considering pulling out of the SWIFT financial transfer system.
An out-of-control NSA and spying complex is close to dealing a mortal blow to the America economy.
Can economic forces rein it in before it drags the civilian economy into another depression?