One thing that Edward Snowden’s revelations have made clear is the closeness with which US tech firms work with the NSA. News such that of previously trusted security company RSA including algorithms deliberately weakened by the NSA into its most promoted products, and the cosy relationship companies such as Google enjoy with the spy organization, have severely eroded international trust in USA based products and services.
This has lack of trust has serious economic consequences. China has announced that Windows 8 is to be banned on all government computers, Sweden has banned Google products from use by public bodies, and now Germany is set to ban any tech companies who may work with the NSA from sensitive public IT contracts. The international edition of the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that,
‘Germany’s black-red “grand coalition” government has now tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts. In cases of doubt, suspicious companies will now be excluded from such contracts. And companies now have to sign documents to the effect that no contracts or laws oblige them — nor can they be coerced — to pass on confidential data to foreign secret services or security authorities.
The new rule would seem to be aimed primarily at American companies. These companies, as numerous Snowden documents reveal, regularly pass on information to the U.S. spy agencies. At the NSA, a separate Special Sources Operations department deals with cooperation with “strategic partners,” as agents call such companies. The companies say they are merely following the laws of the respective country, and so far this explanation has been accepted.’
Further details are unavailable at this moment, although the article does single out one company, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), who despite being known to work ‘for years’ for the US secret services, has been awarded many lucrative government contracts.