So the furore about PRISM is beginning to subside. What we know is that there is a programme; America does snoop, spy and hack in a large way and American Tech firms are complicit, but what next?
First the revelations are not over. We have seen around 4 slides from 25 and Snowden and the Newspapers are claiming there is a lot more to come. We have seen all of those involved going into denial first, nothing to see here, all legal blah blah blah. Then watering down (it isn't really as bad as you think…) and now they are into justification mode – it could have stopped this, that and the other. Regardless of your personal views the USA will never roll back their snoopers, spying and hacking clock – they have set out their stall and this is the way they intend to operate. The truth is American Technology companies have agreed to do this and have been an integral part of PRISM. Without them there is no PRISM – lots of other programmes, but not PRISM.
We should all ignore the fancy words, and the measured tone, as it was once put to me by a PR guru, "they are doing the shitty shoe shuffle". They have trodden in something unpleasant and are frantically scrapping and shuffling their shoes to get it off. However the stench of guilt is up their nose and everyone else's.
Europe has been aggressive in their tone that European citizens have been "targeted", one country at least has banned Google Apps – this is interesting as I assume that all the content of anything you store within Google apps are also available to the NSA – and many are still dissecting the language of the NSA and politicians. Remember I have said words matter and a word that you think you understand the meaning of is not necessarily the same definition of the USA hackers, snoopers and spies.
The global ramifications of this initial revelation have not really started yet. I have already seen questions about if this is what Google, Yahoo and, Microsoft do, what does Cisco and Juniper do? Do they spy on China and every other country for the NSA and USA Gov? They run much of China's telecommunications infrastructure; it is therefore right for people to assume that they have followed the American model that American Technology companies are an extension of the American state and are using their technology to send everything back to America.
As I know many of you know Huawei were investigated by the American Congress and we were given a "clean bill of health". Well as journalists and analysts said "lots of ifs buts and maybe's but no evidence of wrongdoing", or my favourite "a report for vegetarians, no meat", so in my definition no evidence of wrongdoing is a clean bill of health. Based on this lack of evidence of any wrongdoing, the American Congress said that Huawei should not be allowed into America, so based on all of these revelations, and there will be many more on America, should all other Governments ban American technology companies, especially Cisco and Juniper given their position in critical infrastructures?
We believe that the world is a better place for open and free trade. We believe that no country wins if it introduces arbitrary trade barriers under the banner of national security. Trade and competition drives innovation and innovation creates value for everyone – America should open up its telecommunications market to Chinese companies as China does for American technology companies – there really are no excuses.