U.S. officials once again find themselves in hot water with the U.S.’s allies as allegations of phone hacking, among other practices, arise.
Months after former CIA and National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden revealed several government surveillance programs, both U.S. and world citizens continue to attempt to grasp the full extent of the NSA programs.
Allegations that the NSA has been spying on our allies’ leaders and European citizens are creating growing animosities among those countries we consider to be closest international relationships.
Officials in France and Germany in particular have already condemned the practices of the U.S. and are rightfully concerned with our growing “Big Brother” presence in our own nation and now across the world.
PRISM, a covert data-mining program, now appears to be the tip of the iceberg in a new paranoid spying state of America.
In 2010, the NSA allegedly hacked the phone of then German Chancellor Angela Merkel. President Barack Obama and his administration maintain that they were unaware of the alleged hacking of the chancellor’s cell phone.
If the White House is being completely transparent in this instance (for once), a greater concern arises: Have the NSA’s powers have been extended to unfathomable lengths?
The leader of the free world should not be left completely oblivious to matters concerning our allies and extensive international surveillance practices. However, if the president did know (the more likely scenario), then he would be better to admit it now, then deal with the inevitable backlash of this subterfuge.
In nearly every European nation, favorability ratings of the U.S. have declined in a period of only three years, after rising sharply when Obama was elected. This may or may not be attributed to NSA spying efforts in foreign countries, but it certainly couldn’t have helped.
Obama represents the American people and was at one point an international diplomatic icon. He needs to reclaim this title on a national and international scale before the repercussions become even more severe.
Already, allies have stalled discussions of a U.S. trade deal with the European Union. The U.S. needs to acknowledge our mistake and call it for what it is — a diplomatic travesty.
European nations have a right to be outraged but can we truly believe that the U.S. was really alone in these practices?
Citizens of the world need to condemn governments who behave in this manner and not act as indifferent as many Americans did when Snowden initially leaked the existence of PRISM to the public.
The complacency Americans have towards these practices is terrifying. We have allowed the beginning of a police state to form; thus, we are responsible for dismantling it.
Through the Patriot Act which expanded the scope of wiretapping warrants, and then Protect America Act, which authorized warrantless wiretapping in certain cases, we have stripped away our own civil liberties to protect ourselves from terrorism.
We need to consider whether or not such protections are worth the price we pay, both domestically and on the world stage.
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