It may still.
Tech is arguably the most important industry in the United States. We lead the world. No other country churns out Apples and Googles and Facebooks the way we can. But the NSA has dangerously undermined all things Silicon Valley.
Around the globe countries are canceling orders for everything from operating systems (Germany) to jet fighters (Brazil) for fear that embedded within this technology are back doors custom tailored for the National Security Agency. Because the government has not adhered to the 4th Amendment, prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure, thousands of jobs have been put at risk, not to mention the Internet as we know it.
It would be the start of a chain reaction that threatened the foundations of the industry. The subject would dominate headlines for months and become the prime topic of conversation in tech circles. For years, the tech companies’ key policy issue had been negotiating the delicate balance between maintaining customers’ privacy and providing them benefits based on their personal data. It was new and controversial territory, sometimes eclipsing the substance of current law, but over time the companies had achieved a rough equilibrium that allowed them to push forward. The instant those phone calls from reporters came in, that balance was destabilized, as the tech world found itself ensnared in a fight far bigger than the ones involving oversharing on Facebook or ads on Gmail. Over the coming months, they would find themselves at war with their own government, in a fight for the very future of the Internet.