Another Edward Snowden revelation indicates that I, a humble, incoherent, harmless, and (mostly) law-abiding American, may have gotten tangled up in the NSA’s vast spying dragnet for inexplicable reasons of national security. It’s getting personal.
Cisco CEO John Chambers had a euphemism for it during the earnings call: “challenging political dynamics” in China, without ever naming the NSA. Then there was India and others, including Russia where Snowden is holed up, and where sales outright collapsed.
While the US government wants to get its hands on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and crucify him properly, the German government remains red-faced and tangled up in its own underwear. Yet among Germans, and their politicians, support for him is surging.
The seamless, borderless surveillance society has a new dimension: MUSCULAR. Under it, the NSA and British GCHQ secretly break into the “clouds” of US companies to syphon off user data on a large scale. Illegal in the US. But the cloud is a worldwide phenomenon.
The first shot was fired on Monday. Teradata, which sells analytics tools for Big Data, warned that revenues plunged 21% in Asia. Wednesday, it was IBM’s turn to confess: hardware sales in China had collapsed. Every word was colored by Snowden’s revelations about NSA’s collaboration with American tech companies, from startups to mastodons like IBM.
“Introducing the new iPhone 5nSa, the best surveillance device to date. Aiming to put your freedom… in the cross hairs.” Hilarious, but also very serious video.
IBM announced today that it would throw another billion at Linux, the open-source operating system, to run its Power System servers. It may be making hay of the revelations that the NSA has roped in American tech companies to perfect a seamless spy network. Linux, being free of NSA influence, would be a huge competitive advantage for IBM. Or so it would seem.
I expected the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to contact me in an icily polite manner and make me recant, and I almost expected some goons to show up with an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I half expected Microsoft to shut down my computers remotely and wipe out my data. But none of that happened. Instead, the BSI confirmed the key points.
Experts at the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) determined that Windows 8, the touch-screen enabled, super-duper, but sales-challenged operating system is dangerous for data security. It allows Microsoft to control the computer remotely through a backdoor – with keys likely accessible to the NSA.
China is the promised land for our revenue-challenged tech heroes: 1.2 billion consumers, economic growth several times that of the US, and companies splurging on IT. Layer the “cloud” on top, and China is corporate nirvana: a high-growth sector in a high-growth country. Or was nirvana, now that the NSA’s hyperactive spying practices have spilled out.