It gets even better than the headline—and try to imagine the five archetypes involved in this chain of events: Louisiana sheriffs (potbelly, hat, played by Gene Hackman) sue IBM (charcoal grey suit) for concealing losses in the Chinese marketplace (black suit) because of reporters (fraying sports jacket) writing about the company's cooperation with the NSA (razor tie, shades).
In a complaint filed in federal district court in Manhattan on Thursday, the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension and Relief Fund claims IBM defrauded investors by allegedly concealing a decline in hardware sales in China following reports in the Guardian about the NSA program.
“IBM knew that disclosures of the Prism scandal and IBM’s involvement in Cispa [the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act] caused the Chinese government to abruptly halt its business with the Company, and that the Country forced businesses in China to stop contracting with IBM, leading to an immediate and precipitous decline in sales,” the complaint states. “As a result, the security and privacy breaches that IBM couched as potential risks had already materialized with drastic consequences for the Company’s business.”
... IBM reported in the Guardian a 22 percent drop in sales in China compared with the previous quarter as a result of disclosures about its relationship with the NSA last summer, the complaint says.
The decision by President Obama comes amid signs that the White House is not inclined to impose significant new restraints on the NSA’s activities and favors maintaining an agency program that collects data on virtually every phone call that Americans make, although it is likely to impose additional privacy protection measures.
Nobody should expect the Obama administration to make anything more than cosmetic changes to the NSA—the agency, as far as we can tell from the leaked Snowden documents, has been working marvelously!
The only problem is that the rest of us found out about it.