Back in the early days of the Snowden affair, when it first became obvious that Microsoft and others had co-operated with the NSA’s agenda to spy on every living human being on the planet who owned a computer, we said this wouldn’t bode well for those who make their living from tech in the U.S. We thought that proprietary software vendors would be most vulnerable due to their lack of transparency, i.e., the lack of available source code, especially after Redmond was exposed for building secret access into Windows.
Back in December, we asked for your opinion in our NSA in the USA Poll.
In this poll, we asked the simple question, “Will the NSA’s online actions hurt U.S. software companies?” The answers offered were:
- Yes, it will hurt all U.S. software companies.
- Yes, but only those dealing in proprietary software.
- Maybe a little but not much.
- Not at all.
Looking at the results, we’re somewhat surprised by the the lopsidedness of the vote.
72% of you said that you thought the NSA’s actions would have an effect on the entire U.S. software industry, with 20% of you expressing the opinion that proprietary software developers only would be effected. Taken together, this means that 92% of you are of the opinion that the NSA’s dirty tricks will have a negative effect on the U.S. tech sector. 7% of you answered “maybe a little but not much” with only 1% choosing “not at all.”
This would seem to be a no-brainer. Foreign governments, especially those with a less than stellar relationship with the U.S., were already wary of their dependence on Windows. Snowden’s revelations only served to confirm their fears. Industries located outside the U.S., especially those who’re in direct competition with American firms, have also been put on heightened alert after Snowden revealed in a recent interview that the NSA is also actively engaged in industrial espionage.