Its your good friend spying on your and your wife having sex, not because he needs to, but because he wants to know everything. With countries or persons, you can only be true friends if you trust that you are told what you need to know, you shouldn't have to acquire information yourself.
Its not out of malice or intent to hurt the other party, its just pure power, information is power. Who knows most at the negotiating table wins.
I agree information is power. But there are limits to power. Trust also matters.
It would be foolish for a country to blindly trust bureaucrats from other nations, even allies. That's why it's common for friendly nations to do extensive spying on each other. Any government who didn't at least try to do so would be doing a disservice to its people.
You're OK with Russia having a video bug in the Oval Office? Israel tapping the phones of everybody in Congress? Japan listening in on board meetings of the Fortune 500?
"Brutal regimes"? The US has toppled legal governments, supported dictators, spied on it's own people and millions of foreigners, killed people without trial through drones, invaded sovereign countries on BS pretexts, killed peaceful protesters, grabbed resources for a pittance exercising military leverage and/or local paid lackeys, used nuclear bombs in a war (and on a civilians), even conducted medical experiments on unsuspecting people. Not to mention some other dark stuff, like slavery for blacks, concentration camps and relocation for Indians, segregation until 1960+, a nightmarish prison system, and still keeping the death penalty.
How exactly are those other countries any worse? Bothered to ask their citizens -- and not just some overblown vocal minority in Twitter? For one, they haven't fucked everybody the world over.
China was more brutal under Maos rule, and the Soviet Union was under Stalin. But a lot of time has passed since then, and while China in particular certainly is still more oppressive to its own population than the US is, the number of deaths directly or indirectly caused by US interventions, the amount of torture, and the ludicrous US incarceration rates (of its own population this time), puts the US in a league of its own.
USSR bugged the US embassy in Moscow for decades, using a laser.
A few years back, EU found the Parliament building was bugged, surprisingly the buggs where not installed after construction, but during, by US, somehow the construction guys were involved. The entire building was surveilled at all times. If you google it will appear, but if my memory serves this is from earlier than 2010.
That's also the reason why spying people is something to worry. Who controls what is done with the inormation ? How could one defend against abuse of a state? This will be like drones killing civilians ! No one cares. Until it's your turn, and no body will care.
I don't trust random people either. That doesn't make me spy on them, since I couldn't care less what they talk among themselves, it's none of my business. Also, the second I start spying, I also would need to spy on even more, to see if they're on to me spying on them. Yay, there goes the whole afternoon!
It's just redefining everyone to be a potential enemy, because the objective is total control. Amongst individuals it's obvious only psychos or people with something (real fucking ugly) to hide would do that, to anyone but said psychos.
Why would nations be different? Because we're in them? Why is it so hard to accept that a lot of what we consider normal actually is insane, doesn't achieve the claimed objectives, and prohibits a whole range of actually worthwhile ones?
You maybe. But when there are multi-trillion dollar trade agreements in order, and the top dog (US) wants to push a weak bureacratic constellation of nations (EU) in it's favor, then the thing changes.
It's even worse to any trade agreement with lesser nations (think Mexico, Latin America, Africa, etc).
>Why is it so hard to accept that a lot of what we consider normal actually is insane, doesn't achieve the claimed objectives, and prohibits a whole range of actually worthwhile ones?
Well, if the objectives are "get the upper hand on the negotiations" (including "bribe/blackmail individuals involved in them to rule in our favor", then it very much achieves them.
The definition is: "An agent employed by a state to obtain secret information, especially of a military nature, concerning its potential or actual enemies."
As far as I'm concerned, people should be more concerned about this, unless they feel like they agree with their governments actions as valid, thus confirming they do in fact believe the EU is a potential enemy.
If that's the case, I feel the EU should take some drastic measures against the US.
This thing doesn't bother me in the same way as when they're spying on me, because I care about my privacy and safety but as an EU citizen I don't care much if the US finds out something about EU negotiation tactics or whatever they're after.
That it's not between enemies is exactly why it doesn't matter much. It's just an expensive playground for a self-important security aparatus.
You're then very uniformed: there are a lot of issues where U.S. and EU have very different goals and where it would be of EU citizen's (and even the world's) interest not to "just do what the U.S. wants."
In order to be informed try to follow the topics of disagreements between EU and US, there are enough of those, and any European citizen is affected. Just a small example where EU first opposed and then did everything US wanted:
So there is no significant difference in opinions between EU and US authorities where spying on its own citizens is concerned. Airline passanger data is a minor detail.
Obviously, no negotiator wants to be spied upon and my opinion is not that it is OK. I'm just saying it doesn't matter much at the end of the day.
We can, and should, strive to be better than that.
Also, yes, why not. Maybe the first step could be to stop spying on France, the second could be mocking the spies with baguettes? Because you have a point and fair is fair.
Here is the problem - you are starting from a bad assumption.
That's how the world works.
This is a trust/image issue for the states, and it's really taking a beating right now.
AKA individual member nation governments.
I digress. I think ultimately you have to decide to accept current practises as inevitable, or malleable.
I for one, do not think allies should spy on each other. Being caught so would have punitive repercussions such as increases in trade rates. If perpetrator makes a big deal about it, then find better allies, and then they can spy all they want.
"A rapist caught raping women, shocking".
Because an organisation doing what it was created for, totally justifies that thing, right?
====> SPIEGEL has in part seen. <====
A "top secret" 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington."
"... For weeks now, new details about Prism and other surveillance programs have been emerging that had been compiled by whistleblower Snowden."
Am I correct inferring there are Snowden leaked docs passing about beyond distributors The Guardian and the Washington Post?
For example, suppose Wikileaks have the entire 'Snowden stack' and its worker bees' 'discovery' pass up to a dispatcher deciding: if, who -receives it? This has been going on for the past ~month?
This is the first evidence I've encountered. Anything else?
(1) The South China Morning Post out of Hong Kong broke the PacNet story: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1266875/exclusive...
She is probably the link between Snowden and Spiegel.
By the way, I encountered last night Walter Ruttmann's 1927
fascinating hour long classic silent film celebrating Weimar Berlin:
The few autos, centric of trains, many horses, trams, new to me architecture long ago gone, men in hats, intense machinists in factories, and foundries' men at work:
You familiar with this?
My favorite Paul Graham essay you forensically dissected with your profiling tools, wc: 362, is `The Roots of Lisp'. I do the most rudimentary lisp, but this Conway introduction shared with me PG's enthusiasm and excitement focusing on lisp's eval, which I've wondered about forever and still do.
Lets make a list of all the journalists that are a link between Wikileaks/Manning/Snowden and a journal, then we can look back 5, 10 years from now to see in what accident they each died.