Prism: Will this see the spiraling of shadow IT and Flag of Convenience Data-centers?
It’s enough to make George Orwell feel very smug from the great beyond, yet Prism has ably demonstrated that fear and loathing underpin the thinking and strategy behind US Government tactics, and that the ability “to do right thing” is a misplaced wish from any particular John Wayne movie you might care to name.
But what long term impact will this have in IT? Do we feel largely immune or too small to be concerned about such Big Brother activity influencing our lives? Or will this lead to a proliferation of DMZs (De-Militarised Zones) that act as reinforcements to software firewalls merely to protect our privacy?
Prism’s epicentre is focused on US-based companies, but their reach (being international entities) has seen several eyebrows beyond the Eastern seaboard be more than a little concerned at the defense offered by Heads of Security claiming that “they only looked at international individual’s data”. If Homeland Security and the Patriot Act offers that high a reason to seemingly steam-roller individual’s rights to privacy, then perhaps there is a business opportunity for non-US based companies to offer similar products and services and be largely exempt from the legal requirement to keep American shores e-safe.
Facebook, Google, Amazon et al are approached by the US Security Services because they are hugely popular; but with a US population of circa 300 million, there are more people in the EU (current estimates place the figure at 500 million+) Could “Prism-Safe” become an order qualifier/order winner in the next 12 months?
US Security services might be driving such activity with a view to protecting Truth, Justice and the American Way; however in doing so they have swiped at the knees of Trust – and in so doing dealt a blow to Democracy in action.
Whilst some within the USA may feel slightly safer with the action being taken under the name of Prism, the wish to do business and trade in America will undoubtedly take a hit. IT and e-commerce is the heartbeat of practically every sector of business, but if people from beyond US shores don’t feel their transactions and personal data are being treated confidentially, then products and services could well find a new home.
I don’t see Snowden’s ghost going away anytime soon….