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
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Jan 2014 @ 7:46am

    They /should/ care

    the security agencies don't care.

    Yet.

    Most big companies probably didn't, or even still don't, care about the NSA or similar agencies and what they're doing. Sure it might lead to a little more hassle, handing over a bunch of customer data to some agency, but usually they can just get some low-ranking employee to handle that(who also doubles as a nice scape-goat just in case), and often they can use it to bargain a bit, get something out of the deal too.

    However, when those companies suddenly start seeing drastic cuts in profit, when suddenly multi-million, or even billion dollar contracts go to someone else or aren't renewed because of the actions of the security agencies and how those actions affect the companies, suddenly they notice, a lot, and with the money they can throw around, some of these companies have enormous clout and influence, something they can, and likely will, use to 'protect their profits'.

    A few phones calls, a few 'suggestions' into the right ears, and suddenly politicians who were sitting on the fence, or even previously for the activities of the 'security' agencies are talking about how they 'need to be reigned in' and 'need more extensive oversight'.

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