Furor grows in Europe over NSA spy network revelations

Monday, July 1, 2013
By Paul Martin

July 1, 2013

Secret Information Societies: “I want to know what you’re thinking. There are some things you can’t hide.” – Information Society, 1988 – “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” -George Orwell, 1984

EUROPE – The saga of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden took several more twists over the weekend as new revelations about US electronic snooping emerged. Susan Rice says Snowden leaks have no significant diplomatic consequences but Europeans are outraged at the US allegations of espionage. The German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that the NSA had bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks where it was able to read documents and emails. United Nations offices were similarly targeted, reports Der Spiegel based on information provided by Mr. Snowden. Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said that if the report was correct, it would have a “severe impact” on relations between the EU and the United States, reports Reuters. “On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the US authorities with regard to these allegations,” he said in an emailed statement. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told Der Spiegel: “If these reports are true, it’s disgusting. The United States would be better off monitoring its secret services rather than its allies. We must get a guarantee from the very highest level now that this stops immediately.”

Snowden himself remains in what amounts to protective custody at the airport in Moscow – unable to leave a transit hotel because he doesn’t have a Russian visa, unwilling at this point to return to the United States to face espionage charges, stuck there because no third country has yet to offer him asylum. As of Sunday, Snowden had been at the airport in Moscow for a week – a sort of “man without a country” (or at least without a proper US passport, since his has been invalidated). For a while, it seemed, Snowden was headed to Ecuador (by way of Cuba), the country that has provided refuge to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London. But Ecuador appears to be having second thoughts about that; at least it seems to have created a Catch-22 situation by announcing that it can’t consider asylum for Snowden until he presents himself in the country. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden has kept up official US pressure – urging Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in a telephone conversation Friday to reject any application for political asylum from Snowden. “As in all of our communications with foreign governments regarding Edward Snowden, we have advised the government of Ecuador of the felony charges against Mr. Snowden and urged that he should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States,” a US official told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday. –CSM

Rise of the police state: Surveillance of our society is everywhere and will become increasingly more so with time. As prison populations continue to swell, sky-rocketing rates of crime and lawlessness ravage cities, and as terrorism goes high-tech; the emphasis of combating crime will undoubtedly shift more to the arena of prevention and monitoring. Cameras, eavesdropping, digital message intercepts and flying overhead drones, blimps, and satellites will saturate the planet- all furiously and meticulously searching the trail left by your digital information fingerprint. –The Extinction Protocol, pp 460, 461

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