Cyber Futures — Into the Cloud


Strategic Demands weekly series focusing on growth of the global Internet and the repercussions and consequences of surveillance state operations … StratDem looks at the Deep Net and myriad Intranets, the Mobile/Wireless Net, the tools/devices connecting to the Net, all impacted by ubiquitous surveillance, and we consider the Digital Rights and Open Data movement.

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The Digital world, the Internet, Intranets, Deep Net, Worldwide Web, Mobile services — usage across the Digital universe as it has developed over the past 30+ years since its origins — is being watched and monitored in increasing magnitudes as “the Net” grows in magnitudes. You are followed, your patterns gleaned by government bureaus and commercial interests. Your metrics are aggregated and mined, examined and sold.

With the surveillance, watching and monitoring come consequences. The future of the Net as a viable, open platform is at risk.

A Digital Rights and Open Data-Open Gov movement grows in response.

Strategic Demands, in turn, is launching Net Trends  both to report on this movement and as an experiment in online collaboration.

We will be following the development of Digital Rights practices and policies within the development of the larger Net. We invite readers to critique and contribute criticism, suggestions and/or comments.

We can be reached via email:



Net Trends / Digital RightsOpen Data – Open Gov

October/Sept/Aug 2014

server rooms at google

Oct 8, 2014

From The Hill, Google’s Schmidt talks about the consequences of spying

“On Breaking the Internet”

The integrity of the Internet could be at risk if Congress does not act to rein in the National Security Agency, Google head Eric Schmidt warned on Wednesday.

Speaking alongside other tech executives and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) at a Silicon Valley event, Schmidt said the revelations about U.S. surveillance could prompt countries to wall off their networks.
“The simplest outcome: We’re going to end up breaking the Internet,” Schmidt said, “because what’s going to happen is governments will do bad laws of one kind or another, and eventually what’s going to happen is: ‘We’re going to have our own Internet in our own country, and we’re going to do it our way.’ “

“It is fundamentally about breaking the Internet,” echoed Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch. “The Internet is a medium without borders, and the notion that you would have to place data and data centers and the data itself [in a particular location] … is fundamentally at odds with the way the Internet is architectured.”


From Backchannel

Google isn’t the biggest corporation on Earth, but is arguably the most important. Certainly, if one is to understand the 21st Century and the impact of technology and the Internet on our personal, professional and civic lives, Google is the single company that must be understood.


Out of the Cloud / 2014-2013

From Canadian Business

The largest Cloud providers, including Amazon and Microsoft’s Azure, are based in the U.S. But if foreign consumers, and especially businesses, believe data held with those companies is vulnerable to snooping, Kroes thinks they could quickly lose their edge in an industry estimated by research company Gartner Inc. to be worth more than $135 billion a year.

“If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government or their assurances, then maybe they won’t trust U.S. cloud providers either,” she said. “That is my guess. And if I am right, then there could be multi-billion-euro consequences for American companies.”

Kroes isn’t the only one who thinks so. Michael Hayden, a former NSA director, told Bloomberg Snowden’s leaks were “bound to be bad news” for American companies operating abroad. Europeans are already looking to capitalize on the jingoism unleashed by the PRISM news, stepping up efforts like a “Made in Germany” branding campaign for cloud-computing technologies, and France’s “Sovereign Cloud” plan, which includes a $200-million investment in domestic cloud providers.

Kroes sees one of two things happening. Either the U.S. will agree to leave European data alone, or U.S. companies will start to lose out in the European cloud market. “Why,” she asked, “would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?”


The Cloud, the Cloud

Bullet points:

  • Changed attitudes towards Cloud computing
  • New Microsoft CEO Nadella — marching orders – Microsoft to pursue “mobile-first, cloud-first” strategy at the core of everything Microsoft does… Internet beyond the PC — widening Microsoft v Google war. In July, Nadella pushes the new mission statement here, here and here.


  • All major U.S. / int’l IT firms moving toward Cloud service
  • U.S. co’s at disadvantage given Cloud security issues
  • Around six in ten of those not currently using Cloud said the revelations have prevented them moving information communication technology into the Cloud. Survey polls 1,000 information communication technology (ICT) decision makers in the UK, US, France, Germany and Hong Kong
  • Almost 90% of respondents to a survey commissioned by security consultancy NTT Communications said they were changing their cloud-buying behaviour as a result of Snowden’s revelations.


Pushback from U.S. Cloud Providers


Disclosures of U.S. surveillance of the Internet

Report by the New America Foundation surveyed disclosure revelations’ impact on U.S. businesses. Authors find that resulting erosion of trust is having serious consequences for U.S. technology firms and for U.S. credibility around the world.

Cisco and networking

Summarizing the research to date, the report notes a widely cited 2013 paper by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a business-friendly think tank, which found that the revelations could cost the U.S. cloud computing industry between $22 and $180 billion by 2016. A more recent survey of 300 British and Canadian multinational companies found that a quarter of respondents were moving their data outside the U.S., and the overwhelming majority was willing to sacrifice access speed for security.

A March 2014 survey of 1,000 information-technology executives in France, Hong Kong, Germany, the United Kingdom and the U.S. found that the Snowden leaks “had a direct impact on how companies around the world think about information and communication technologies and cloud computing in particular.”

Individual companies, which originally were reticent to discuss damage to their bottom line, have come forward one by one. In November 2013, Cisco was among the first to say that an expected 10% drop in quarterly revenue was due, in part, to fallout from the Snowden affair.

  • Qualcomm , International Business Machines , Microsoft , and Hewlett-Packard have reported diminished sales in China as a result of the revelations.
  • Servint, a Virginia-based web-hosting company, reports in June that international revenue had been cut in half since the disclosures began.
  • Snowden documents may have prompted foreign countries to deny large contracts to U.S. companies. In June, the German government announced that it intended to cancel its contract with Verizon , which provides Internet services to some German agencies, due to the company’s cooperation with the NSA. Brazil, which has had a heated debate over the NSA’s activities, passed over Boeing last December to award a coveted $4.5 billion fighter jet contract to Swedish manufacturer Saab .
  • Digital Independence: NSA Scandal Boosts German Tech Industry – Feb 2014 –
  • More than a dozen countries, including Germany, Brazil and India, have introduced or are debating rules that would require data to be held on servers in country and would limit the flow of information. Many are citing NSA spying as a reason to expedite these proposals. The European Union has proposed stricter domestic privacy legislation since the revelations. If the law passes — the EU is expected to vote on it next year — the resulting fines and penalties could cost U.S. firms billions of dollars.
  • On foreign policy, report finds an erosion of U.S. credibility abroad, particularly as it relates to U.S. promotion of an open Internet.
  • “Concrete evidence of U.S. surveillance has hardened the positions of authoritarian governments pushing for greater national control over the Internet,” the authors wrote. “The moral high ground that the United States relies upon when publicly pressuring authoritarian countries like China, Russia, and Iran to change their behavior has eroded.” Relationships with allies in Europe and Brazil have also weakened, the authors assert.

Beyond injury to the U.S.’s reputation, the report cites widespread damage to its cybersecurity. The NSA spends $250 million a year to develop relationships with companies aimed at weakening IT-security standards, the report says, citing news reports of the Snowden documents. It also alleges that the NSA stockpiles knowledge about corporate security holes rather than reporting them. And it cites allegations from the Snowden documents that the NSA hacks into the systems of U.S. firms, impersonating major companies like Facebook and LinkedIn to redirect traffic to the NSA’s own servers.

  • In an email, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said, “NSA cannot crack much of the encryption that guards global commerce – and we don’t want to. We focus on using our limited and fragile cryptanalytic capabilities against our nation’s foreign intelligence targets.”


Reports from Brookings



From Bloomberg, Oct 2014

Euro cyber concerns  France is enforcing a new cyber-security law aimed at defending vital businesses…. The main preoccupation is avoiding a nightmare scenario in which a cyber-attack leaves French people with no electricity, communications tools or food….

A German move introduced this year requires vendors bidding for public telecommunication and IT contracts to agree not to pass on data to foreign governments.

The German government in June decided in favour of Deutsche Telekom AG to replace Verizon Communications Inc. as a network provider amid concern that the New York-based company was legally obligated to pass on data to the U.S. government.

Industrial espionage will cost German companies a record 11.8 billion euros ($14.8 billion) this year, according to a survey of 6,767 companies published in July by the Corporate Trust security advisers group…




Re: a “full spectrum adversary“… defined as an “opponent utilizing full cyber capabilities in combination with military and intelligence” capabilities


From the Washington Post

China v U.S.

Experts say the cybertheft creates three major problems. First, access to advanced U.S. designs gives China an immediate operational edge that could be exploited in a conflict. Second, it accelerates China’s acquisition of advanced military technology and saves billions in development costs. And third, the U.S. designs can be used to benefit China’s own defense industry. There are long-standing suspicions that China’s theft of designs for the F-35 fighter allowed Beijing to develop its version much faster — (considering F-35 staggering cost and profound performance problems, adopting could be painful for any Chinese operation)

See Sunnylands summit… Chinese government thru official media launches public campaign against U.S. technology firms operating in China through its “de-Cisco” (qu Sike hua) movement.

Targeting Cisco, the U.S. networking company that had helped many local Chinese governments develop and improve their IT infrastructures beginning in the mid-1990s, the Chinese government hits at core of U.S.-China technological and economic IT collaboration.

China Economic Weekly article titled “He’s Watching You” singles out eight U.S. firms as “guardian warriors” who are claimed to have infiltrated the Chinese market: Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm. Cisco, was designated as “most horrible” because of its pervasive reach into China’s financial and governmental sectors.

Tech companies ask governments to reform surveillance practices — good luck w that…


From TechWeekEurope

On the Extension of NATO in Cyberspace

Ratification of  Cyber-Defense Declaration… NATO to add cyber-threats to its fundamental treaty – reportedly has little idea about the computer arsenals of its member countries or adversaries/non NATO, non aligned.

Side-bar on “Entangling Alliances” = Cyber-warfare/escalating conflict with NATO expansion

Side-bar on “Spying on Allies”



• NSA spying might have affected U.S. tech giants Aug 13, 2014 – Spying by the National Security Agency and increasing demands by the feds for client data … One clear case of [reputation] damage is Cisco.

• Cisco Goes Straight To The President To Complain

• Techdirt
May 19, 2014 – Chambers goes even further than Cisco’s counsel, decrying the NSA’s tactics and the damage they’re doing to his company’s reputation.

• NSA spying hurts business of large U.S. hardware makers

USA Today
Dec 9, 2013 – … evidence mounting that NSA spying has damaged the business of some … Cisco, whose switches and routers lie at the core of Internet traffic …

• Tech executives to Obama: NSA spying revelations

The Washington Post
Dec 17, 2013 – Cisco Systems has said it is seeing customers, especially overseas, back … the damage caused by Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents …

• Comment on Der Spiegel articles about NSA › The Platform/Cisco Systems, Inc.
Dec 29, 2013 – Even then, we can’t be sure that Cisco and the NSA are not co-operating to intercept the ….. I believe this punk will reveal more damaging stuff.

• Cisco CEO to Obama: NSA is Killing Us
May 19, 2014 – NSA workers wrapping interdicted Cisco package. Source: … They can’t fix the damage, even if Obama swears off this kind of interdiction.

• Revelations of NSA Spying Cost US Tech Companies
The New York Times
Mar 21, 2014 – The confirmation hearing last week for the new N.S.A. chief, the video … computing, web hosting and outsourcing markets and the worst case for damages. … John T. Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems…

• Cisco’s Chambers tells Obama that NSA surveillance
PC World
May 19, 2014 – Chambers was reacting to reports that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepts equipment shipped abroad to install surveillance tools.

• ‘Unacceptable’: Cisco’s Chambers tells Obama re NSA
May 19, 2014 – Long-time Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers…

The report reportedly baldly states that the the NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers. The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users.

The report has huge significance for countries outside the US, including Australia, because the US is home to some of the world’s largest network equipment manufacturers — companies such as Cisco Systems, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent (courtesy of its Lucent merger in 2006) and many smaller companies all have substantial US facilities…

In a letter to US President Barack Obama, obtained and published by US technology media outlet Re/Code, Chambers stated clearly that the NSA’s practice was unacceptable. “… if these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally,” the Cisco chief executive wrote.

“We simply cannot operate this way, out customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security. That is why we need standards of conduct, or a new set of ‘rules of the road’, to ensure that appropriate safeguards and limits exist that service national security objectives, while at the same time meet the needs of global commerce. We understand the real and significant threats that exist in this world, but we must also respect the industry’s relationship of trust with our customers.”

Chambers asked Obama to “take more steps” and a leadership role, to ensure that new guidelines and reforms are put in place with relation to the equipment interception issue, that could be honoured across the world. And he also warned the US President that Cisco would patch any holes it found in its products.

• NSA Spying Risks $35 Billion in U.S. Technology Sales
Bloomberg L.P.
Nov 26, 2013


  • The Global War for Internet Governance by Laura DeNardis (2014)
  • The Net Delusion by Evgeny Morozov (2011)
  • Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights, and Rule in Cyberspace (Information Revolution and Global Politics) by Ronald J. Deibert (2010)
  • Surveillance or Security?: The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies by Susan Landau (2010)
  • Internet Architecture and Innovation by Barbara van Schewick (2010)
  • Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (Information Revolution and Global Politics) by Laura DeNardis (2009)
  • Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful by Beth Simone Noveck (2009)
  • Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software by Christopher M. Kelty (2008)
  • Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace by Milton L. Mueller (2002)