Mathew J. Schwartz
January 10, 2014
Mounting evidence points to billions of dollars in lost US business thanks to the NSA’s collect-everything mindset.
The United Arab Emirates, which signed a $926 million contract last year with two French firms to buy two intelligence satellites, said this week that the deal would be cancelled unless the firms (Airbus Defense & Space and Thales Alenia) removed US-built components. The UAE’s fear was that the equipment would contain back doors that would allow data sent to ground stations to be intercepted.
Facing a major customer defection, will the French firms — or, for that matter, anyone else trying to land a foreign contract — continue to work with American component builders? Mounting evidence suggests otherwise.