NSA Spying Will Cost US Economy $35 Billion by 2016

When they hit us in the pockets, that’s when it really starts to hurt.

News about U.S. surveillance disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden could have  “great potential for doing serious damage to the competitiveness” of U.S. companies such as Cupertino, California-based Apple, Facebook Inc., and Microsoft Corp., Richard Salgado, Google’s director for law enforcement and information security, told a U.S. Senate panel Nov. 13.

“[These are] proposals that would limit the free flow of information,” Salgado said. “This could have severe unintended consequences, such as a reduction in data security, increased cost, decreased competitiveness, and harm to consumers.”

I’s networking hardware monoliths like Cisco that are expected to take the biggest hit, with their future market of China and all the proposed growth that would have come with their business now in jeopardy due to security concerns. Valued at $520 billion until 2015, companies like these could miss a huge potential userbase if the NSA doesn’t clearly come out and vocally separate themselves from the product being shipped overseas.

That said, the damage is expected to reach far beyond the classical business models of technology companies and cloud services, extending into multiple areas of our lives that you would  never think were related to living in a surveillance state.

“This is a priority issue, not just for technology or Web-based companies, but also small- and medium-sized businesses,” Brilliant said, listing finance, manufacturing, health care, education, shipping “and other areas not commonly thought of as Internet companies.”

As foreign companies lose trust for American data going in or out of the countries listed on the NSA watchlist exposed by the most-likely successor to the WikiLeaks throne, companies like Google and Microsoft are making their voices heard in Congress, writing joint letters and standing strong as they hurry to encrypt the lines between their data centers and kick their engineering departments into high gear. Each of them stand to lose millions if they idle by and do nothing in the wake of the past several months revelations, and I for one couldn’t be happier to know that as long as the companies with the deepest pockets are pissed off, we might just have a shot of getting somewhere by the time this is all said and done.

With all of this money leaving the nation, it’s good to know there are new businesses that are thriving in the wake of the news: VPN and online anonymity providers. Virtual private networks give you the capability to cover your tracks safely and effectively, all through an easy-to-use program installed on your desktop or mobile device. Tablets and phones are a breeding ground for viruses these days, which is why you should never be without a solid program like Express VPN or IPVanish VPN while connecting from the road and at home.