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In other news, Angela Merkel joins the fast growing club of government leaders that are actively spied on by the USA.

And I am not talking about Kim Jung Un and other enemies of the US, but friendly nations and allies, like Brazil, France and Germany.

This makes the US look bad. Why? Well, it's not exactly to combat terrorism is it? Or does anyone think Merkel was planning an attack on the US embassy?

It's economic espionage, and act against the interests of the allies of the US. Just because the Chinese also do it, does not make it right. It is especially grating given US official rhetoric and the deep and long standing economic and cultural bonds.

More to the point, it is grist for the mill of those who want to block all data exchange with the US, and will likely lead to further efforts to hamper US eavesdropping. So it will hurt genuine efforts to fight terrorism.*


* working on the assumption, for the moment, that mass data gathering is actually useful.


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I just saw this earlier. Stupid, just stupid.

Merkel is not a woman to mess with. For one thing, she is actually a physicist (specifically, a physical chemist) by original training; so she definitely has brains. Se has thrived on German and EU politics and so is clearly tough and politically savvy. I don't know how popular she is with the German electorate though, only that my brother-in-law in Germany is not much of a fan.
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We need to start treating our friends like friends. FFS people.
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What´s funny about it is that, for political reasons, Angela Merkel and her political henchmen have tried to massively downplay the whole NSA mess for the better part of the year, telling us how nobody should be concerned about it and how everything is totally ok.

Needless to say, her recent actions against Washington are thus met with a certain amount of ridicule here in Germany.
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whac3 wrote:
I just saw this earlier. Stupid, just stupid.

Merkel is not a woman to mess with. For one thing, she is actually a physicist (specifically, a physical chemist) by original training; so she definitely has brains. Se has thrived on German and EU politics and so is clearly tough and politically savvy. I don't know how popular she is with the German electorate though, only that my brother-in-law in Germany is not much of a fan.
She won the recent elections handily, which should give you an idea of her popularity.
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If true, then it's embarrassing that it was made public, but spying happens all the time to friends and enemies alike. It's strange that Merkel would be using communications that could be listened in on though.
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jmilum wrote:
If true, then it's embarrassing that it was made public, but spying happens all the time to friends and enemies alike. It's strange that Merkel would be using communications that could be listened in on though.
COP OUT ALERT. just pretend it's business as usual, nothing to see here, move along move along.

No isn't normal and it shouldn't be. The US is blatantly using it's superior capacity in this department to stay ahead of the game, which, apparently, they cannot manage without cheating.

If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.
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Venga2 wrote:
* working on the assumption, for the moment, that mass data gathering is actually useful.


The Obama administration does whatever it wants/needs to do to keep the world safe, that's the Chicago way ! If you don't like it, declare war or sit down and know your role.

Obama's America is now the worlds police, if France wants to take over and become the world police (we all know how well that turned out last time they did ) then France should start taking the lead. until then, just sit down, shut up and take it.

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Venga2 wrote:
If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.

Yes, I'm sure it would. But it's also true that everyone does it.
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jmilum wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.

Yes, I'm sure it would. But it's also true that everyone does it.
Firstly, I highly doubt that everyone does it. If nothing else, very few nations even approach the USA's spy capabilities in scope and reach.

Secondly, you have a strange and cynical worldview if you think this kind of espionage is a-ok!
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I'm pretty sure everyone is spying. The Americans just made the (embarrassing) mistake of getting caught.

Venga2 wrote:
Firstly, I highly doubt that everyone does it. If nothing else, very few nations even approach the USA's spy capabilities in scope and reach.

Capability aside, You'd be surprised. Even Bangladesh has a security operation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_intelligence_agencies

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AdrianPHague wrote:
Capability aside, You'd be surprised. Even Bangladesh has a security operation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_intelligence_agencies

Right! And are they using it to spy on Obama? Or are they using it for internal control and to keep an eye on the Indians?

Spying as such is not the issue, blatant spying on elected officials of allied nation is where it starts to get fishy.
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Venga2 wrote:
jmilum wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.

Yes, I'm sure it would. But it's also true that everyone does it.
Firstly, I highly doubt that everyone does it. If nothing else, very few nations even approach the USA's spy capabilities in scope and reach.

Secondly, you have a strange and cynical worldview if you think this kind of espionage is a-ok!

German intelligence service is as bad as the NSA
'Prolific Partner': German Intelligence Used NSA Spy Program
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jeremycobert wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
* working on the assumption, for the moment, that mass data gathering is actually useful.


The Obama administration does whatever it wants/needs to do to keep the world safe, that's the Chicago way ! If you don't like it, declare war or sit down and know your role.

Obama's America is now the worlds police, if France wants to take over and become the world police (we all know how well that turned out last time they did ) then France should start taking the lead. until then, just sit down, shut up and take it.



It was the same story when Clinton and Bush were president. We have been the world police for decades.
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jmilum wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
jmilum wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.

Yes, I'm sure it would. But it's also true that everyone does it.
Firstly, I highly doubt that everyone does it. If nothing else, very few nations even approach the USA's spy capabilities in scope and reach.

Secondly, you have a strange and cynical worldview if you think this kind of espionage is a-ok!

German intelligence service is as bad as the NSA
'Prolific Partner': German Intelligence Used NSA Spy Program
So it is ok by you then? Or is this only a problem when they do it to US citizens?
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mlcarter815 wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
* working on the assumption, for the moment, that mass data gathering is actually useful.


The Obama administration does whatever it wants/needs to do to keep the world safe, that's the Chicago way ! If you don't like it, declare war or sit down and know your role.

Obama's America is now the worlds police, if France wants to take over and become the world police (we all know how well that turned out last time they did ) then France should start taking the lead. until then, just sit down, shut up and take it.



It was the same story when Clinton and Bush were president. We have been the world police for decades.


Oh, you didn't get the memo?

Yeah, the NSA was started by Obama. Sooper sekrit knowledge, that, so don't let it get widely spread! Also, he's started all US wars ever started, and caused all our economic depressions and recessions.
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rylfrazier wrote:
We need to start treating our friends like friends. FFS people.


Nations don't have friends. They have interests. Sometimes those interests coincide.

Venga2 wrote:
No isn't normal and it shouldn't be. The US is blatantly using it's superior capacity in this department to stay ahead of the game


Yes, it's normal. And, of course the US is trying to stay ahead of the game. This isn't a boardgame - balance is not a concern. Every nation will take every advantage they can get, because every nation wants to win this "game."

I find this far less distasteful than the NSA spying on me. There's actually a reason to spy on other world leaders. But yeah, getting caught is embarrassing and damaging to US influence and interests.
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SabreRedleg wrote:
rylfrazier wrote:
We need to start treating our friends like friends. FFS people.


Nations don't have friends. They have interests. Sometimes those interests coincide.

Venga2 wrote:
No isn't normal and it shouldn't be. The US is blatantly using it's superior capacity in this department to stay ahead of the game


Yes, it's normal. And, of course the US is trying to stay ahead of the game. This isn't a boardgame - balance is not a concern. Every nation will take every advantage they can get, because every nation wants to win this "game."

I find this far less distasteful than the NSA spying on me. There's actually a reason to spy on other world leaders. But yeah, getting caught is embarrassing and damaging to US influence and interests.


Amen. Getting caught was dumb. I just assume we're doing this and much worse, though. We better be.
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mlcarter815 wrote:
It was the same story when Clinton and Bush were president. We have been the world police for decades.

The leaked report that caused this recent flare up was from 2006.
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Venga2 wrote:
jmilum wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.

Yes, I'm sure it would. But it's also true that everyone does it.
Firstly, I highly doubt that everyone does it. If nothing else, very few nations even approach the USA's spy capabilities in scope and reach.

Secondly, you have a strange and cynical worldview if you think this kind of espionage is a-ok!


He does because it is Obama doing it. If Bush was doing it, he would be having conniption fits on regular 30 minute intervals.

That's why he's a ********** - his unmitigated adulation for Obama clouds his judgment to the point where his two primary excuses for everything Obama does wrong is either "It's Bush's fault" or "Everyone else does it".
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chrisnd wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
jmilum wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
If the reverse were true the outrage in the US would be enormous.

Yes, I'm sure it would. But it's also true that everyone does it.
Firstly, I highly doubt that everyone does it. If nothing else, very few nations even approach the USA's spy capabilities in scope and reach.

Secondly, you have a strange and cynical worldview if you think this kind of espionage is a-ok!


He does because it is Obama doing it. If Bush was doing it, he would be having conniption fits on regular 30 minute intervals.

That's why he's a ********** - his unmitigated adulation for Obama clouds his judgment to the point where his two primary excuses for everything Obama does wrong is either "It's Bush's fault" or "Everyone else does it".

Ummm, the report was from 2006. Did you miss that?
 
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Venga2 wrote:
Right! And are they using it to spy on Obama?

I can't think of any powerful intelligence agency not spying on Obama. The Russians do it, the Germans do it, the French do it and the British have mole on every inch of the planet. Allied countries are countries that don't have a reason to backstab each other yet.

It's disturbing, terrible and ugly. But as they say, espionage is yet another tool in diplomacy.



The problem is not so much that the NSA is spying on political leaders and other people of interest. The problem is that they are spying on the average citizen and that's crossing the line.
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I am shocked that otherwise intelligent people believe that any intelligence agency in the world isn't doing their best to accumulate data on every public figure, friend or foe.

I'm not a public figure, but assume that anything I say on a cell phone can be intercepted if anyone cares to do so. If there's enough interest, I am confident that any intelligence agency in the world could bug my house, car or office without me knowing about it.

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I'm shocked that there is gambling spying going on here.
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I wanted to come back to this. I am not oblivious to the fact that all nations have spying operations or that they are used for economic espionage, although I find the latter harder to stomach. Obviously diplomatic services compile information on all political figureheads, friends and foes alike.

That is all well and good and what a diplomatic service is for. One can even expect that this gathering of information goes well beyond collecting news paper clippings.

But that, I suspect, for a long time did not mean actually having direct access to private communications. Or at least, not at all time everywhere.

And especially not for friendly nations, bar perhaps the occasional hidden microphone or whatnot.

What is new is the technology that make it possible to have continuous and unfettered access to things such as email and private phone conversation. And that raises some new questions about what does and what does not 'go' in the international arena. Or at least, that is how I interpret the current hubbub about the NSA's extremely far reaching spying.

On the upside, it could usher in a great new age of spy-outfits using backwards technology and resorting to cold war tactics to keep their secret off-line:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1017...
 
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