Revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden tying US tech companies to the National Security Agency’s surveillance program are beginning to have a major impact on their bottom line, according to industry analysts. Despite assurances to the contrary, there is a perception that American technology products enabled the government spying program, and the questioning of trustworthiness is having economic ramifications for companies like IBM and Microsoft.
Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil. IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government. And tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to theNational Security Agency’s vast surveillance program. Even as Washington grapples with the diplomatic and political fallout of Mr. Snowden’s leaks, the more urgent issue, companies and analysts say, is economic. Technology executives, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, raised the issue when they went to the White House on Friday for a meeting with President Obama.