A prior blog post discussed the possible negative impacts upon U.S. Internet and technology companies' businesses and revenues by their forced participation (although some may have participated voluntarily) in several NSA and U.S. government surveillance programs. Well, the push-back has begun against USA government surveillance programs. Gigaom reported:
"The so-called Safe Harbor agreement that allows U.S. web firms to take on customers in the European Union is in deep trouble. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has launched a review of the deal, and on Wednesday it emerged that data protection watchdogs from around Germany have urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to push for its suspension, due to NSA surveillance fears."
The Safe Harbor agreement allows U.S.-based tech companies to operate in Europe by "self-certifying" that they comply with European privacy laws, which are more strict than laws in the USA. Reportedly, several tech companies -- Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and AOL -- have claimed compliance with European Safe Harbor laws:
"Privacy officials at the European level argued more than a year ago that self-certification was a bad way of ensuring compliance, but the PRISM scandal has, to a large extent, rendered that argument moot... Frankly it now looks like the whole system is in tatters..."
Also, modest crowds protested on Saturday July 27 in about 30 cities in Germany. The protesters used the "Stop Watching Us" slogan, and circulated petitions. Online petitions seemsed to have generated more participation in Germany.
Do U.S. government officials really believe that there would not be any negative (unintended) consequences for its extensive surveillance programs with NSA code embedded in commercial software products and services? Do U.S. government officials really believe that there would not be any negative consequences for mass surveillance of our European allies? It has undermined our allies' trust in the USA.