Will U. S. Snooping Destroy SaaS and Managed Services?

There's a superb, must-read article published today by John Dvorak on Marketwatch raising the question of whether the U.S. government's relentless, warrantless (and maybe illegal?) spying practices are wreaking havoc with Web collaborative tools such as SaaS and managed services. The point being, will companies stop using tools that rely on remote databases, given the current U.S. regime's assertion of unconstrained spying authority?

Slowing adoption of SaaS and managed services would certainly hurt the channel and cripple the future plans of companies such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and other Web giants. How interesting that someone has finally raised the issue of commerce potentially being impacted by the government data-mining operation, shielded by a dubious state-secrets claim, and enabled by the cooperation of telecom service providers such as AT&T and Verizon. (Congress is still being pressured by the Bush Administration to grant these companies retroactive immunity for any past legal sins. (Is there something to hide here?)

Dvorak notes that while much of this data can be encrypted, any U.S.-based provider that de-encrypts the programs and runs themalso  runs the risk of being ensnared in the data-spying net. This is already an issue in Canada, according to the Toronto Globe & Mail, although the American press has, as usual, turned a blind eye to the issue. Well, maybe if Britney Spears' emails become spy fodder. the U.S. press will notice.

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