I've recently read a couple of articles suggesting that customers will now avoid cloud computing because of the NSA (National Security Agency) forcing major commercial vendors like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and others to provide access to their customer's data.
I think these authors are trying to make a name for themselves with no solid facts to back them up and scare people in the process.
The bottom line of all of this NSA spying is that if you have something subversive to say against the U.S. Government, keep it out of your computer systems and web sites! The United States government and most governments will not be going after your customer lists, trade secrets, etc. that if compromised could cause you damage! So even if the NSA scans your web sites or private data stored in a cloud based environment what is the risk?
Governments like France, China, and others have been scanning their citizens data for years! The NSA which generally keeps an incredibly low profile has been monitoring world wide communications for decades now. They captured voice transfers, digital transfers, encoded transfers and decoded them, and have for years. Other governments have done exactly the same thing. So what is the issue?
On a personal level, I do not like the idea that the NSA or any other government agency can look at my communications, but then again, I am not terribly worried as I am not saying anything that would cause me a problem.
From a purist sense, I think it is a violation of our civil rights for NSA to look a a US Citizen's data without a court order, but the idea of scanning data sources, cloud data, etc. is not that big a deal.
I think that as companies become more and more aware of the value of cloud computing which many are pursuing in lieu of their own local data centers they will continue to rapidly move to the cloud regardless of snooping by NSA or any other agency. I also think you will see new and stronger encryption and security measures implemented as a result of this and the threat that government decryption technology may get in the wrong hands.
Cloud and security businesses will continue to grow at astronomical rates and many companies who have had in-house data center's for decades will abandon them to the cloud!
I for one feel very strongly about the value of cloud computing. It is interesting but Thomas Watson's 1943 Quote "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." may finally becoming true :-)