How the NSA's scaring businesses away from the cloud

Harriet Green
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Source: Getty

Last year Edward Snowden’s revelations on the US’s surveillance programmes shook public trust in the internet across the world.

Now, 88 per cent of businesses are fundamentally rethinking the cloud, and their cloud buying behaviour, according to a new survey of ICT decision makers by NTT Communications.

The revelations focused on the National Security Agency’s Prism and its lesser-known Muscular programs, which were directly tapping into unencrypted data inside nine giant internet firms, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Earlier this month, those firms revealed they’d received classified national security demands for the details of at least 59,000 user accounts in the first half of 2013, Wired reports.

The fallout has seen Google encrypt its Gmail service, and German chancellor Angela Merkel call for a separate internet service for Europe.

Source: NTT Communications

NTT aimed to see how much of an impact the Snowden affair has had on sentiment, and found that there are nine “clear aftershocks” that’ve hit businesses. It surveyed 1,000 companies in France, Germany, Hong Kong, the USA and the UK.

The group found that only five per cent of respondents said location doesn’t matter when it comes to storing company data. In each country, at least one in five thought location "completely mattered".

Over a third are currently moving data to somewhere “where the business knows it will be safe”, and more than six in 10 of those asked said that, post Snowden, they feel they can’t move their ICT into the cloud.

82 per cent are on-side with Merkel - agreeing that data networks should be separated, with over 90 per cent of US respondents, and 97 per cent of those in the EU, saying they’d now preference a cloud service located in their own region.

Source: NTT Communications

What’s more, one in six firms is now delaying or cancelling contracts with cloud service providers, with more than four fifths of those asked feel like they need more training on data protection laws.