Het spionageprobleem van Silicon Valley

DAVIS, CALIFORNIË – In een recente brief aan president van de VS Barack Obama vroeg de CEO van Cisco Systems, John Chambers, of de National Security Agency wilde stoppen met het onderscheppen van de producten van het bedrijf om er toepassingen voor het bespioneren van buitenlandse klanten op te installeren. Dit is de laatste in een serie onthullingen over hoe informatietechnologiebedrijven, bewust of niet, in dienst staan van de ‘war on terror’; onthullingen die de mondiale dominantie van de Amerikaanse IT-sector bedreigen.

Sinds de schaal van het afluisteren van het internet door de NSA aan het licht is gekomen zetten overheden en grote bedrijven buiten de VS vraagtekens bij de capaciteit van Amerikaanse IT-bedrijven om de veiligheid van hun producten te garanderen. Amerika’s centrale positie in ’s werelds informatie-economie, die nog maar twee jaar geleden beklonken leek, wordt nu bedreigd; een feit dat serieuze zorgen zou moeten opwerpen voor elke ondernemer, leidinggevende, werknemer en durfkapitalist in de Amerikaanse industrie.

Deze wending is meer dan ironisch. Het mondiale leiderschap van de Amerikaanse IT kan ten slotte direct teruggevoerd worden op het nationale veiligheidsapparaat. Na de Tweede Wereldoorlog en vooral na de lancering van de Sputnik door Sovjet-Unie in 1957 heeft de VS enorme investeringen gedaan in elektronische techniek en later computerwetenschappen.

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