24 June 2019

IBM sued over fallout from spying scandal, Reuters says

IBM Corp. has been sued by a shareholder for allegedly causing its market value to drop more than US$12 billion in the wake of a spying scandal, Reuters reported Thursday. The shareholder accused IBM of concealing its role in the scandal that eventually reduced its business in China. IBM lobbied Congress to pass a law letting it share personal data of customers in China and elsewhere with the United States National Security Agency in a bid to protect its intellectual property rights, according to a complaint filed in the US District Court in Manhattan. The plaintiff in the complaint, Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension & Relief Fund, said this threatened IBM hardware sales in China, particularly given a program known as Prism that let the NSA spy on that country through technology companies such as IBM, according to the report. The Baton Rouge pension fund said the revelation of Prism and related disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden caused Chinese businesses and China’s government to abruptly cut ties with the world’s largest technology services provider.

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