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NSA Uses Private Sector Data Collection for Public Sector Purposes: Impacts on Big Data and Commerce

Frost & Sullivan finds "Trolling" communication highways in the interest of information threatens personal privacy

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Security Agency (NSA) now has access to virtually all online and mobile communications, as well as most credit card transactions, conducted in or through the U.S. The NSA is also tapping into the most popular smartphone applications, including Angry Birds, Google Maps, and Twitter. However, the NSA is far from the only entity treading on personal privacy to achieve its objectives; the private sector is teeming with examples of companies obtaining personal user data through questionable means and deploying it in even more questionable ways.

Frost & Sullivan's new analysis, Stratecast Confidential: The Impact of the NSA on the Big Data Market – and Global Communications, finds that the NSA obtains information related to 99 percent of the calls placed within or outside the U.S. This is because even when calls originate with another operator, they are carried, at least in part, over equipment owned by the U.S.-based carriers whose data the NSA obtains. The research goes on to analyze the issues and impacts resulting from the actions of the NSA, as well as commercial and research entities, both on the populace at large and particularly on the Big Data market.

For complimentary access to more information on this research, please visit:

"Since electronic communications are the lifeblood of commercial activities, the fact that the NSA is collecting data from companies in the private sector may begin to have a chilling effect on the U.S. economy," said the report's author, Jeff Cotrupe, Industry Director, Big Data & Analytics, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan. "Also, by figuratively placing all relevant communications in the U.S. on a dashboard for at-a-glance monitoring, the NSA is creating a scenario where an outside entity that gained control of NSA systems could conceivably and swiftly do a great deal of damage."

Stratecast's research, however, finds that all is not lost, as pending legislation and research advancements from several places, including Harvard's Center for Research on Computation & Society, provide definitional, political, and ethical answers for a growing controversy that is no longer just technological.

"Initiatives in the private sector and academia may preserve personal privacy," noted Cotrupe. "If successful, this could persuade data hunter-gatherers across law enforcement, public policy, and private commerce to use applied technology to support things like a healthier population--while ensuring things like the U.S. Constitution are still breathing, too."

Stratecast Confidential: The Impact of the NSA on the Big Data Market – and Global Communications is available as part of Stratecast's ( Big Data and Analytics Growth Partnership Service program. All research included in subscriptions evaluates market opportunities and industry trends following extensive interviews with market participants.

* Want to Learn More? - Sign-up for the Live Webinar*

On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan will host a complimentary live webinar discussing the impact and issues arising from NSA involvement on the Big Data market.

The brief presentation will be followed by a live audience Q&A.

Click the following link for complimentary registration:

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

Our "Growth Partnership" supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

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  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Clarissa Castaneda
Corporate Communications – North America
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