Thursday, October 24, 2013

And more blowback

The NSA is rapidly turning the US's friends into its enemies:

The furore over the scale of American mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden shifted to an incendiary new level on Wednesday evening when Angela Merkel of Germany called Barack Obama to demand explanations over reports that the US National Security Agency was monitoring her mobile phone.

Merkel was said by informed sources in Germany to be "livid" over the reports and convinced, on the basis of a German intelligence investigation, that the reports were utterly substantiated.

The German news weekly, Der Spiegel, reported an investigation by German intelligence, prompted by research from the magazine, that produced plausible information that Merkel's mobile was targeted by the US eavesdropping agency. The German chancellor found the evidence substantial enough to call the White House and demand clarification.

The white House's response? "We're not tapping her phone now" (because she's not making a call?) - but they refuse to deny having done it in the past. Which is as good as an admission of guilt.

So how many more US allies does the NSA have to alienate before the US government realises that spying on their friends just isn't worth it. And would they stop anyway?

Meanwhile, its worth asking: was the GCSB involved? Does it spy on the embassies of friendly European countries, or on the communications of EU politicians when they visit the region? Because thanks to the US, they will think we do, and we're a damn sight easier to punish than the Americans are. Our involvement with the "five eyes" may be about to cost us, big time.