Surveilling allies undermines diplomacy

  • Article by: JOHN RASH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 5, 2013 - 6:01 PM

Allegations of U.S. surveillance of E.U. offices erodes trust that’s needed for trade talks, counterterrorism coordination.

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hobie3Jul. 5, 13 6:01 PM

Wait - let me get this - "surveilling" allies is wrong, but "surveilling" your own citizens is OK... Why? Because one we trust, and the other we don't?.. Pretty much says it all, then... To those that "surveil", the citizens are the government's enemies... the founding fathers had it right - we are more at loss of liberty from inside threat than from foreign threat.

diogenesnyJul. 5, 13 8:39 PM

Of course, we now find out from the Parisian newspaper Le Monde that the French authorities, who were so quick to blame the NSA, have been doing the same thing: "France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure, the country's foreign intelligence agency, systematically collects information about all electronic data sent by computers and telephones in France, as well as communications between France and abroad. According to Le Monde, data on 'all e-mails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts' are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the DGSE's headquarters in Paris." And if France is doing it, it's a good bet Germany (at least) is doing it as well.

barbjensJul. 6, 13 7:54 AM

Let's face it, they ALL do what we do. It is part of what they feel they must do to keep THEIR country safe.

vapausJul. 6, 13 9:27 AM

Reading the comments so far posted, the general theme is that since other countries are doing it, that justifies our government spying on us. I don't live in one of those countries. It is up to their populations to keep their societies from becoming police states. One evening I was listening to NPR's "On Point", and a caller expressed that she would gladly give up all her privacy rights if it would save just one life. What total disregard for all who have fought for liberty whether in war, or labor struggles or civil rights. Being loyal to our country and being submissive to government policy are not necessarily synonymous.

alansonJul. 6, 13 1:30 PM

We are asked to trust NSA with our intimate personal information. Then they do dumb things like hacking into the EU headquarters phone system. Why? Apparently, like a bunch of irresponsible adolescents, because they thought it was so clever and so cool. It's obvious there needs to be a stronger check on NSA's activities, perhaps an internal public ombudsman who is responsible only to our elected representatives (and I don't mean just the selected yes-people on the intelligence oversight committees - perhaps we should start with Keith Ellison as the ombudsman). I certainly don't trust the present arrangements for oversight, which appear to be completely ineffective.

bluedevil101Jul. 6, 13 1:43 PM

I saw where it is believed that the US ordered down a plane that was carrying the president of a foreign nation because the US was concerned it was carrying Snowden. Turned out it was not. The president of the other nation was not impressed and asked what authority America / Obama has to order down a plane in flight. Good question.

swmnguyJul. 6, 13 3:22 PM

A really brilliant point I don't see anyone making is that the NSA isn't actually doing this. It looks to me like it isn't really any government agency doing this. Since the Constitution limits the government, looks like all this surveillance is 100% legal and fine. Remember, Snowden didn't work for the NSA. He worked for Booz/Allen/Hamilton. We use mercenaries and "private security" to do things our military is not allowed to do. The data is handed from Verizon and AT&T to Booz/Allen/Hamilton. It's all private, and probably covered somewhere on page 47 of your Terms of Service agreement.

fuzzy67Jul. 6, 13 6:56 PM

I don't understand how you can blame Snowden for this whole situation. "The allegations are just the latest diplomatic damage done by Edward Snowden..." This damage was not done by him, it was brought up by him. The damage was done by our government spying on our friends in the first place. That would be like a child telling his mom that his dad was cheating on her, and then blaming the child for the whole situation. Our European allies are mad at us, and rightly so, but how much more mad do you think they would be if it hadn't been an American coming clean about our actions? How would they have responded if an international hacker had told them what we were doing?

smeeagain2Jul. 7, 1310:59 AM

Surveilling American citizens undermines the Constitution, but the corporate media don't want you to think about that.

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