The PRISM project is a big deal in the United States, but it looks like it is becoming a bigger deal across the rest of the world as (some) computer users appear to refrain from trusting U.S. based cloud-computing companies. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the PRISM program could cost American cloud computing companies $35 billion in revenue in the long term as consumer fears heighten.
Cloud computing and storage providers in other parts of the world are expected to use the PRISM issue against U.S. based companies to lore consumers and hopefully get ahead. Furthermore, you can tell where this is going since German Justice Minister, Jörg-Uwe Hahn, requests everyone to boycott U.S. based companies due to the PRISM scandal. (Side-but-related-note: German intelligence is known to have given metadata to the NSA, so we will have to say Hahn should clean his house before telling others.)
It could take U.S. companies years to overcome this problem, and by then it might be too late to recover. The ITIF document claims by 2016, non-U.S. based cloud computing companies could become the leaders in the space for both consumers and business. In addition, global spending on cloud computing is expected to grow by 100 percent through 2012 to 2016, though the IT market will only grow by 3 percent in the same time period.
By 2016, the global cloud computing industry could become a massive $207 billion market according to sources close to the ITIF report.
Boycotting U.S. companies is the logical decision at this point if privacy is a major issue for you, but how does one know governments outside the U.S. are not doing similar things behind closed doors? You don’t, and they probably are (although likely not at such a large scale). It’s a complex situation, which is why computer users must be smart and minimize storage of personal and private data in the cloud if privacy is important to you. Because that is really the only way to be safe from vultures that spy from the clouds, regardless of which country they are in.
[via Forbes, image via Geek Coolstreaming]