We’ve written about this in the past. The most important industry in the USA, also the least regulated (go figure) is tech. Technology companies thrive on innovation and beating each other to market. Historically tech, based on the other side of the country from Washington DC, has been a fairly free market. There is a reason why the price of computing comes down every single month and the quality goes up. The power the average person holds in his or her hand when they glance down at their iPhone is well beyond what a computer the size of a city block could do a generation ago. This is because of a relatively free market and very limited government influence.
But those days began to end in the wake of September 11th 2001. The government descended on the tech with a vengeance and it has burrowed itself further and further into the industry with each passing year.
To be fair most companies likely had no choice but to go along with the government over the last decade. But technology customers are not interested in government spyware embedded in their tools. Many countries and companies are starting to pass on American tech as it is widely believed (whether true or not) that the US government has back door access to these products.
That is not good news for the American economy.
Of course it could all be solved simply if the 4th Amendment was adhered to. You know the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.
It is hard for civil libertarians to shed tears over AT&T losing business because of NSA spying, considering the company allowed the NSA to directly tap into its fiber optic cables to copy vast amounts of innocent Americans’ Internet traffic. AT&T was also recently revealed as having partnered with both the DEA and the CIA on separate mass surveillance programs. It is also hard to feel sorry for Cisco, which stands accused of helping China spy on dissidents and religious minorities. But the fact that the spying is hurting these major companies is indicative of the size of the problem.