When we look back at 2013 a decade from now, the one technology story that's likely to have the biggest long-term impact is the Edward Snowden revelations.
While there were major password breaches at Adobe, Evernote, and Twitter as well as the Healthcare.gov debacle, nothing rocked the IT world more than the 200,000 classified documents that Snowden leaked to the press, uncovering the NSA's startling digital surveillance programs that reach more broadly across the Internet than even many of the most extreme conspiracy theorists would have feared.
While the U.S. government defends the program as court-supervised and a powerful tool that has thwarted terrorist attacks and protected citizens, there's no doubt that the Snowden revelations have had a chilling effect on the technology world.
Here are the three biggest impacts:
- Organizations are re-thinking how to effectively encrypt their most sensitive data
- International organizations are looking at ways to do less business with U.S. companies, since the NSA has direct backdoors into many of them.
- The brakes are being put on cloud computing by some organizations, as they consider whether they want their data so easily accessible to surveillance agencies.
As one IT architect said, "The USA's global surveillance efforts have done more to damage cloud deployments than any amount of FUD."
To dig deeper on this topic, see the links below. Then, join the discussion in the comments.
Resources from TechRepublic
- Five takeaways from the NSA and Internet surveillance disclosures
- Escaping the dragnet of surveillance: What the experts say about encryption
- What can IT do in the fight against government surveillance tactics?
- What NSA spying on Google means for your business
- Encryption for the paranoid: Verifying TrueCrypt source code and binaries
- Does using encryption make you a bigger target for the NSA?
- How to trust your insiders
- [Infographic] Wiretapping: Privacy vs. security
Resources from Tech Pro Research
Tech Pro Research is a joint venture between ZDNet and TechRepublic that includes exclusive in-depth features, original research, ebooks, and IT policy templates, all aimed at helping technology decision makers.
- Research: 41% increasing IT security budget in 2014
- Template: Encryption Policy
- Template: Outsource Provider Security Policy
- Template: New Employee Checklist and Default Access Policy
- Template: Secure Equipment Repair Policy
- Template: Media Disposal Policy
- Ebook: Physical Security: Human Intrusion Defense
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks.