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NSA Fallout: Why Foreign Firms Wont Buy American Tech
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Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2014 | 8:41:52 AM
Trust in the Internet is also a national security issue
Yes, all governments spy in the interest of their nation's security -- probably as much or more than the NSA. But calls for reforms in government bulk collection of databy companies like Twitter, Facebook, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Apple and LinkedIn represent a national security interest as well -- to preserve the public's trust in the Internet, which is the backbone of our global economy.


User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2014 | 7:40:52 AM
Re: Foreign Firms
That's interesting to hear, I know the levels of trust will vary from country to country but there are some things we know for sure about China and their use of DNS hacks and fire walling to shape/divert/intercept traffic.  I don't for a second think any country is innocent of snooping on internet traffic but I would think that most first world countries would shy away from Chinese networking gear.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/11/2014 | 8:16:42 AM
Re: Rein in, not "reign"
Anon, slip o' the brain. Thanks for the catch, we've made that fix.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2014 | 5:58:04 PM
Trust, but verify??
In the 1980s President Ronald Reagan infamously borrowed a famous Russian proverb when he said "Trust, but verify". Somehow, I think that proverb misses the mark with respect to the basic tenets of security - it should be: "Do not trust until you verify".


I would not say it is all doom and gloom for American technology companies. Sure, some organizations will opt for open source alternatives; some simply don't have the time or know how to inspect lines of code and will source technology from suppliers with no connection to the US, or in instances where there may be no viable alternative solution, will continue to use American technology. In the latter case, "Better the devil you know" will apply.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2014 | 2:35:33 PM
Re: Foreign Firms
China, the US, who next? Israel? It's probably the world's biggest developer of security software. It's a country known to do its fair share of spying, even on the US. All industrialized countries spy. Are all of the systems manufactured/developed in those countries suspect in foreign lands? 
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2014 | 12:27:10 PM
Rein in, not "reign"
You "rein in", not "reign" in.  It comes from the reins of a bridle, used to control a horse.
User Rank: Ninja
1/10/2014 | 11:15:51 AM
Re: Foreign Firms
See that's completely opposite here. In the UK, our Prime Minister is so interested in attracting Chinese investors that he's opened his arms to Huawei and allowed it to build a whole new $200 million research facility and has praised its filtering system for blocking pornography.

However more on topic, I don't see people's confidence in US firms returning until there's a change in legislation. As it stands, you can make all the assurances you want as a tech-firm, but you can still be forced by the courts to hand over all your customers' data and you can't even tell them about it. 
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Strategist
1/10/2014 | 10:18:07 AM
Re: Foreign Firms
On the other hand, it doesn't inspire confidence that the NSA keeps getting caught with its hands in the cookie jar.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2014 | 7:41:18 AM
Foreign Firms
This isn't all the surprising, Huawei had a very hard time trying to make inroads to the data center.  There is a general distrust when dealing with manufacturers from certain companies but I think in the case of the NSA it is more an issue of the devil you know versus the devil you don't know.  We know that the NSA was listening in to the conversations of foreign leaders, we know that they have had back doors into some hardware and software but at least we know they are there.  Who we don't know about is what worries me, Stux for example or stories of Chinese hardware with back doors but no one can pinpoint who has access.  Sure the NSA might be watching you but who else is out there doing the exact same thing and we just haven't caught them in the act yet?

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