NSA Spying Fallout Hits French Satellite Deal

from the guilt-by-association dept

Techdirt has already noted how the NSA's massive spying programs around the world are costing US companies money through lost business -- and are likely to cost them even more in the future. But it seems that the fallout is even wider, as this story from The Voice of Russia makes clear:

The sale of two intelligence satellites by France to the UAE [United Arab Emirates] for nearly $1bln could go bust after the satellites were found to contain US technology designed to intercept data transmitted to the ground station.

A top UAE defence source said that the satellites contain specific US-made components designed to intercept the satellites' communication with their accompanying ground station.
As a result, the UAE might do a deal with the Russians instead:
An unnamed UAE defence source said that it is not clear if the US equipment can be taken off the French satellites, so the incident has resulted in an increase of talks with Moscow, which, along with Beijing, has also been a frequent defence technology supplier to the Emirates.
So it seems likely that not only will US companies find it hard to sell their wares directly to nations that are worried about possible surveillance, but foreign manufacturers will also be reluctant to include certain types of US technology in their own products, since that might cost them contracts. The price being paid by US businesses for the NSA's "collect it all" approach continues to rise.

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Filed Under: france, nsa, privacy, satellite, surveillance, united arab emirates


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  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 16 Jan 2014 @ 5:24am

    Expect

    I would expect a competant intelligence agency to collect this kind of stuff. I would also expect a competant intelligence agency not to get caught.

    By this measure the NSA is not a competant intelligence agency.

    It has become sloppy because it has got used to using tame judges and politicians to cover up for its mistakes instead of avoiding making them in the first case. It has probably also become sloppy because it has grown to large and acquired too broad a brief.

    This is a disaster because the NSA's incompetence has resulted in it being unable to fulfil its proper role.

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