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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/25/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Brazil and Germany pushing resolution after latest NSA scandal reveals we may have spied on leaders.

Brazil and Germany are pushing a joint resolution through the UN today that would promote the right to privacy on the internet. The General Resolution is seen as a response to broad and intrusive NSA spying on international communications. Some of that spying may have included the personal communications of world leaders and U.S. allies.

Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, speaking before the UN to condemn US spying.

Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, speaking before the UN to condemn US spying.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/25/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Germany, Brazil, UN, resolution, spying, NSA, hegemony


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to German sources, the NSA has managed to tap German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone as well as the phones of several other world leaders. Earlier in the year, Edward Snowden leaked information and elaborated, saying he had the power himself to tap even the White House, if he wished.

Although all governments operate some form of intelligence service, and that those services also spy on allies to some degree is hardly news. Leaders want and need to make informed decisions and every tidbit of information can prove useful. However, there is also a measure of trust and privacy that is shared between allies. The depth of NSA spying appears to be so great, it breeches even the deepest trust.

The UN resolution will have no impact on NSA operations. Nor would it bind the U.S., which must ratify all treaties. However, there are other ramifications that could have greater impact. For example, European allies could stop sharing intelligence they gather with the U.S. While tips on pending terror attempts and such should still be shared, our allies could just as easily withhold inside information on trade talks and other deals which helps American representatives to obtain better results in everyday negotiations.

Although no nation has yet said they would stop sharing intel with the U.S., the possibility is there.

It is clear however, that the U.S. will need to provide some level of transparency and will have to curtail some aspects of its NSA program. If another Edward Snowden-type leaker were to emerge or nations were to otherwise learn they were being spied upon, it could have serious consequences for the U.S.

Already, the diplomatic consequences include a loss of credibility and profound embarrassment. The U.S. which has long been viewed as the paragon of freedom, human rights, and democracy, has had its reputation for these things tarnished. Our ability to promote our worldview is greatly diminished since our government clearly engages in behavior that was once the hallmark of totalitarian regimes.

This has real consequences for our nation. As U.S. hegemony diminishes alongside our credibility, our ability to negotiate treaties and agreements which favor our interests also diminishes. Eventually this means less power, fewer goods, and higher prices across the board. We enjoy our cheap and comfortable way of life in this country because we are a superpower and can dictate terms to others. It looks like this could come to an end under the current administration.

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