Privacy group outlines cost of surveillance

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Spying at the National Security Agency and elsewhere is hurting U.S. businesses, American foreign policy and security across the Internet, according to new analysis from a group of civil liberties advocates.

The 60-page report released by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute on Tuesday comes on the same day that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is introducing his new version of a bill to reform the contested spying outfit, and could provide a boost for critics of the agency.

“Our findings indicate that the NSA’s actions have already begun to, and will continue to, cause significant damage to the interests of the United States and the global Internet community,” the organization wrote in its report.

At the top of the list are tech companies, who have suffered losses estimated to be in the billions of dollars due to people’s loss of trust in their services. They could be further hurt by foreign governments who begin to distrust the current structure of the Internet and call for new laws that data be held in their countries or assert more control online.

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