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Thanks to NSA spying, Boeing lost a $4.5 billion contract

Posting in Technology
Yesterday, a presidential panel recommended the United States curb its foreign and domestic spying practices conducted by the National Security Agency.

But reform isn't coming soon enough for Boeing. 

Brazil announced yesterday that Sweden's Saab AB won a $4.5 billion contract through 2023 to build the country 36 fighter jets. The move came as a snub to U.S.-based Boeing, a favorite to win the contract. But the reasons seem to have been purely political. 

As one former Brazilian trade secretary told Bloomberg: "“Boeing only didn’t win the deal because of the lack of trust created by the spying incident. Had the decision been last year, Boeing would have won."

Brazil has been one of the most outspoken countries against NSA's spying practices, revealed earlier this year by Edward Snowden. Speaking to the United Nations earlier this year, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called the spying a "breach of international law" and said "without respect for [a nation’s] sovereignty, there is no basis for proper relations among nations."

But Boeing isn't the only one that could suffer major losses because of NSA spying. Tech companies are worried that it could lead to a multi-billion dollar hit to their business over the next few years if changes aren't made. 

Photo: Flickr/Prayitno

— By on December 19, 2013, 6:44 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure