The secret NSA surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden don’t just infringe on the privacy and constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, they can also be very damaging for the American technology industry. According to a report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, companies that provide cloud computing services stand to lose as much as $35 billion over the next three years unless Congress takes action to alleviate the worries of American people.


Cloud computing and storage companies allow users to upload their files to secure servers so they can be accessed anywhere in the world at any time. The industry continues to grow at a rapid pace and is expected to be a $207 billion business by 2016.

But users and businesses aren’t so ready to store their information when they think the government is snooping and collecting it for itself with programs like PRISM and Xkeyscore.

U.S. companies also dominate “every segment” of the international cloud computing marking, according to Daniel Castro of ITIF, and overseas businesses are now much less likely to trust American cloud computer. Castro’s report estimates that U.S. cloud companies will lose anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of the market to international rivals, a loss of $22 billion to $35 billion.  

In fact, 10 percent of international companies surveyed had already cancelled a project that used a cloud computing service based in the U.S., and 56 percent of companies surveyed are “less likely” to use a U.S.-based cloud computing service.  

U.S. companies are also having a harder time doing business internationally. Thirty-six percent of U.S. companies surveyed said they have found it “more difficult” to do business outside of the country.