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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: http://bit.ly/V4qSQK

"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 (http://stratecast.frost.com) 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: http://bit.ly/1p5fnoh

About Frost & Sullivan

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Peabody Energy: Australia’s Repeal of the Carbon Tax Rejects Policy That Makes Energy Scarce and Expensive

ST. LOUIS, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) today praised the action of Australia's Parliament and Prime Minister in repealing the carbon tax, which has hurt consumers via high electricity costs and damaged the economy.

"The Australia Government's reversal of the carbon tax is a lesson in leadership for the modern world," said Peabody Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce.  "We encourage U.S. policymakers to take the same path and reject the Administration's costly proposed rules on power plants.  Technology, not caps and taxes, is the key to long-term improvement in carbon emissions."

In turning around the carbon tax, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: "Today, the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone. A useless, destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families' cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment is finally gone."  The government has estimated that the repeal would save families A$550 per year.

Australia elected a new government last year with a mandate to repeal the carbon tax, which has caused an estimated $15 billion in economic impact in its first two years of implementation, according to government estimates.

Nations continue to push back against onerous carbon legislation and renewable mandates that exacerbate energy inequality, raise electricity costs and reduce economic growth.  Europe's renewable strategy is being pared back, the continent is threatened by Russia's energy security challenge, nations such as Japan are using significantly more coal, and multiple nations lead the world in economic growth using coal-fueled electricity.

Peabody believes that U.S. leaders can learn valuable lessons in rejecting defacto carbon taxes and onerous renewable standards. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the Administration's proposed U.S. carbon regulations would cost the economy $50 billion per year.

The proposed rules would significantly increase power prices, costing each American household thousands of dollars over time. A Heritage Foundation study reports the cost to an average family of four at $1,200 per year of lower income and spending power. Low-cost electricity is essential at a time when a record 115 million Americans qualify for energy assistance and 48 million live in energy poverty.

Coal fuels the lowest cost electricity in the United States: The states that don't use coal wrestle with electricity costs that are nearly twice as much as the states that predominantly use coal for electricity. Coal is the world's fastest-growing major fuel set to surpass oil as the world's largest global energy source in coming years.

Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions. For further information, visit PeabodyEnergy.com and AdvancedEnergyForLife.com.

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Beth Sutton
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