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Tuesday, 10 December 2013 07:13

Government surveillance damaging the economy

Beyond invading personal privacy to an extent that is making people feel uncomfortable sharing any information online, it seems that the US economy is also suffering from the recent revelations about mass surveillance.

By choosing to operate mass surveillance in secret, the NSA has damaged the growth and reputation of American companies, making their credibility questionable to customers.

Companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are beginning to appeal to the US government to persuade them to start being more transparent about their actions, in order to avoid damaging the economy. European officials have largely resisted the recent takeover of Vodafone by the American company AT&T, as the now known snooping of the NSA into customer transactions means the public are much less likely to be interested.

In the summer, it was proposed to the European Parliament to have warning notices on all American websites available for customers in the EU. These notices would inform people that their data is subject to surveillance by the NSA. This would restrict the growth of services in the US, bringing the EU ahead of the game in terms of competition.

Whilst this all sounds like a good deal for people on this side of the Atlantic, we should really be worrying about the amount of surveillance that has already been going on via social media sites we have been using. The American government has been keeping big secrets, and so has our own. Sneaky partnerships have been going on behind the back of the public, and only now can we see that the damaging effects are not just focused on the trust placed in the government.

The economy is in tatters already. It’s only going to take one more situation like this before the UK is pushed over the edge.

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