It has now been several months since NSA contractor Edward Snowden first leaked information about the organization’s activities. Americans were certainly upset with the violation of privacy by the government organization, and you may remember the President and high-ranking NSA officials were quick to clarify that the NSA is not spying on Americans [intentionally] and that personal information being collected was mainly that of foreign nationals. While this admission may have quelled American fears a bit, it seems that the organization forgot that we live in a world where “globalization” is no longer a buzzword…it’s a reality.
So what’s the result? A whole bunch of really pissed off European Nations and the potential for new legislation across the pond. The new laws would reclassify what information is considered “private” (similar to the change a few weeks ago in CA) and restrict how American companies do business Europe. This could change the landscape of tech and cause major companies to do major overhauls on their products. For example, 86% of searches conducted in Europe were done using Google, and Facebook claims to have over 270 million European users.
American Tech has been working hard (much harder than the NSA) to rebuild the trust of the global community. Companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google have stood together and demanded the right to release NSA information requests under the first amendment. However, it seems like this won’t be enough to prevent a vote in the European Parliament this week.
These changes could have far reaching effects on the cyber liability front. From a risk management perspective, tech companies would be wise to beef up on their Cyber Liability insurance. New laws require courts to establish a line of precedent regarding how the laws are going to be interpreted. This usually takes a several court cases. Lawyers will be draining the bank accounts of many unfortunate tech companies UNLESS those companies have a proper cyber policy. The right policy will covers these court costs and protect the company’s valuable assets.
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