Snowden effect
n. The increased awareness of the extent and scope of illegal or excessive surveillance in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations; the increased desire to be protected from such surveillance.

Example Citations:
On Thursday, Microsoft will be the latest technology company to announce plans to shield its services from outside surveillance. It is in the process of adding state-of-the-art encryption features to various consumer services and internally at its data centers.

The announcement follows similar efforts by Google, Mozilla, Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo in what has effectively become a digital arms race with the National Security Agency as the companies react to what some have called the “Snowden Effect.”
—Nicole Perlroth, “Internet Firms Step Up Efforts to Stop Spying,” The New York Times, December 5, 2013

The Snowden effect has been significant for the business. “It was the ‘Pearl Harbor’ moment that brought the Americans into the war,” he says. “It really rammed home to the public and companies that personal data was an issue that has to be dealt with.”
—Rebecca Burn-Callander, “How data protection emerged from shadows,” The Daily Telegraph (London), May 30, 2014

Earliest Citation:
It seems as though the surveillance stepped up in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. I don’t recall anyone warning about that in the immediate aftermath. If you want to see what effect, if any, Edward Snowden’s revelations have had on the country, and on what it’s doing to itself, look for it there. I would almost guarantee you that you won’t like what you see.
—Charles P. Pierce, “The Snowden Effect,” Esquire, June 10, 2013

Notes:
An encrypted-on-a-thumb-drive "thank you" to long-time Word Spy reader Jack Kapica for leaking this phrase.

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