Monday, October 28, 2013

A Spy With A Black Eye 

News continues to appear that the National Security Agency bugged the German Chancellor, the French President and now, it is claimed, 60 million Spanish phone calls.  The White House is trying to keep as much distance as possible from the PR nightmare by claiming that President Obama did not know about it.  Maybe not, but it happened on his watch, so he has to deal with the fall-out and the black-eye that America's reputation and public relations have suffered.   It is all part of the fall-out from Edward Snowden and his revelation of the extent of US spying.  As far as the Agency is concerned, Snowden will never see America again except through the bars of a jail.  But, it raises a serious question.  How much spying should be allowed when one is fighting an amorphous enemy?   When one is hunting for needles in haystacks, it is first necessary to build the stack.  It is clear that the NSA was sweeping vast areas and using data mining and keyword recognition to find terrorists, but did that justify bugging world leaders?  They don't think so and neither do their citizens.  The NSA is now facing new controls on its work that probably should have been there all the way along.


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