Cloud

A few small businesses have pulled data off U.S. servers after NSA leaks

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Survey says: The fallout of the Edward Snowden affair has begun to affect cloud and hosting companies operating in the U.S.

A few IT decisionmakers at small companies in the United Kingdom and Canada said in a survey that the scandal over government spying had a big impact on moves to stop storing data in the U.S.

Some 17 respondents said they stored data in the U.S. before the scandal and have since stopped, according to a November survey that the independent company ResearchNow conducted on behalf of Peer 1 Hosting, a public cloud and hosting provider based in Canada.

Given that background, it’s worth reading the findings with some skepticism.

And the figures aren’t large enough to suggest a widespread blow to U.S. infrastructure providers. After all, 81 percent of respondents said the scandal over NSA surveillance did not surprise them.

Nevertheless, the results fit with a notion VentureBeat has heard in the past few months — that news on PRISM and other government programs, based on documents Snowden shared with news outlets, have made companies more concerned about cloud security.

The results also call to mind an estimate from August that 56 percent of non-U.S. residents were less likely to use cloud services from companies based in the U.S. after once-classified NSA programs started making headlines. One analyst reckoned that the issue could cause U.S. cloud companies to miss out on between $21.5 billion and $35 billion in revenues.

For those seeking every shred of proof that Snowden’s leaks are making waves in the IT industry, the survey provides some important new material.

Results show that 29 percent of respondents said they expect that revelations on the NSA’s snooping of information on phone calls will affect data hosting decisions.

And the situation could change in near future. Looking forward five years, 87 percent of respondents in Canada said they’re likely to host their companies’ data in their own country, while the figure came in at 84 percent among respondents in the United Kingdom.

Essentially, it looks like the news on PRISM and other programs has already had shaved off some business for U.S. IT providers and might continue to do so in the future.

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