Will NSA Snooping Chill Mobile Collaboration?

If the government is tracking everything your company does online, does that mean you'll do less mobile collaboration?

I admit I don't have much of an opinion yet on the whole government data-snooping story, other than I'm not surprised that big telecom providers essentially caved in and allowed their customers' communications to be monitored. If you know the close relationship between regulators and service providers you know it's a game of favors; light oversight of business activities goes hand in hand with massive campaign contributions. So there's little surprise that the telcos would give government agencies access to call records.

The PRISM stuff about monitoring of online services like those provided by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and others, however, could have a chilling effect on the move to cloud services and mobile collaboration. Would you feel good about increasing the amount of online exposure your company has knowing now that someone somewhere inside a secret agency was watching what you were doing? With little to no means of legal redress?

The good news is, the shedding of light on this whole situation will hopefully lead to some intelligent discussions about electronic communications, and how we as a society want to protect civil liberties while also realizing there are valid needs for law-and-order access to those communications. But for the moment, while the dust flies, will your plans for moving to the cloud and mobile collaboration slow down? Or are you not worried about the government's potential review of your online communications?

Photo credit: The Comic Shop via flickr (H/T to CITEWorld)

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