NSA spying prompts shift away from US cloud companies


As predicted earlier here on SiliconANGLE and also by our sister site Wikibon, last year’s revelations of the NSA’s spying shenanigans are having a harmful impact on the US cloud computing industry, according to new research by Canadian cloud hosting company Peer1.

The company recently carried out a survey of some 300 UK and Canadian businesses, and found that 25 percent were looking to dump US cloud companies due to the NSA’s spying. The companies stated that they were concerned that US laws compel American companies to hand over customer’s data to US intelligence agencies any time they ask for it.

That’s not exactly surprising, when you consider that four out of five businesses cite privacy as the number one consideration when it comes to storing their data in the cloud. Peer1 found that almost 70 percent of its survey respondents would be willing to sacrifice some latency if it meant ensuring their data sovereignty. Even so, the majority of companies admitted to not knowing enough about data protection laws.

Peer1 operates facilities in Canada, the US and the UK, which explains why the survey was focused on those countries.

The survey supports the findings of Wikibon’s Scott Lowe last year, when he warned that the NSA’s spying allegations could cripple US-based cloud companies. In his report, Lowe warned that U.S.-based customers might be tempted to move their business to potentially more secure foreign cloud providers, such as those in Switzerland, in an effort to protect their businesses. He advocated that US-based technology companies push for concrete answers and actions from the government to ensure to the world that the United States is open for business in a way that is transparent and trustworthy.

Sadly, this hasn’t yet happened, and what Peer1’s survey seems to confirm is a slow erosion of trust in American tech companies, as the Ed Snowden leaks continue to trickle out, never far from the headlines.