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View Diary: NSA spying: Germany accuses US of using Cold War methods against its allies (245 comments)

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  •  Sorry, but you are wrong here. (16+ / 0-)

    Personal data protection laws are much, much stronger in Germany and many other European states and it would be illegal or, at the very least, strongly frowned upon for German intelligence agencies to do this kind of broad-based and often seemingly random spying in allied nations.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:23:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not so - US laws as strong or stronger (5+ / 0-)

      The EU likes to posture that its protections are greater, but it depends on your perspective.  The average European citizen provides far more information to their governments - willingly or unwillingly - than the US average citizen.  The concerns in Europe tend more towards what the private sector gathers.  There is a much stronger tradition of centralized government among European countries.  For example, they all have "national police" while we in the US do not.  We have a 1st Amendment...in several EU countries they can arrest you for content.  It gets worse outside the EU of course - in Turkey its a crime to defame Ataturk.

      Germany has been involved in its own "spy scandals."  Just Google "German spy scandal" and see.

      Bear in mind, the Germans are also presently unhappy with the British:

      http://news.yahoo.com/...

      I am not saying this spying is legal in their country.  It is not.  Germany, like the US and every other country, has espionage laws.  If US officials get caught, they can face exposure in theory.

      In theory.  Again, usually these matters are not followed up because they tend to lead to tit-for-tat.  If the Germans started arresting all the US spies, we would just start arresting theirs.

      Two last thoughts:

      - it is highly likely the German intelligence services were already aware of what the US was up to
      - it is highly likely the US knew the Germans knew, and so forth

      None of this is clean or pretty.  It is spying.  The very term is pejorative.  But you can find as many instances where it defended freedoms or prevented evils as the obverse.

      The real debate should be over the size and scope of the US intelligence establishment.  It is valid to ask whether we have created a machine that is flailing around sucking up information, but that same machine takes a decade to find Osama Bin Laden.  We should also debate the over-reliance on technology over human intelligence gathering.  

      "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

      by FDRDemocrat on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:39:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Lawrence, lotlizard
        There is a much stronger tradition of centralized government among European countries.  For example, they all have "national police" while we in the US do not.
        We certainly do have a national police--it's called the FBI.
        •  FBI are not National Police - we have federalism (0+ / 0-)

          FBI has limited jurisdiction over federal crimes, as defined.  If there is no federal jurisdiction, it becomes a state or local matter.  A classic national police has national jurisdiction.

          I think I am beginning to understand why every pro-Snowden diary rockets to the top of DKOS with hundreds of recommendations.  People have little idea of how the US system actually operates.  

          "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

          by FDRDemocrat on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:00:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps you would like to read through (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, Celtic Merlin, lotlizard

      a summary of current EU surveillance and security measures before you make that judgment.  Some laws are stronger, but some less.  With Europol as a combined agency they probably don't spy on each other, but they certainly do surveillance of foreigners.

      •  Hmm... (5+ / 0-)

        Is there any evidence that Germany spied on the US?  Of course not.   The Germans are upset because we call them allies but we treat them like enemies.   It is that simple.

        •  We have yet to see the actual NSA documents (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          middleagedhousewife

          that DER SPIEGEL has concerning US spying.  Have they published it yet?   Or is that too much to ask?   Could you please put up a link if you have it?  

        •  Not to mention that mass surveillance (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fran1, JesseCW, KenBee, lotlizard

          is a sensitive issue in a nation that includes the former East Germany. This hits really, really, really close to home.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 01:02:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  new elections going to be good for German National (0+ / 0-)

            nationalists?

            irony there...well, democracy was a nice experiment.

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:37:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hard to say which German political party benefits. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee

              The Pirate Party, being the only party whose main focus is the Internet?

              Alliance '90 / the Greens, the civil liberties party after the Free Democrats* abandoned civil liberties to concentrate exclusively on neoliberal economics?

              The Left Party, which includes the ex-communists, just to poke U.S.-NATO Cold Warriors in the eye?

              Right-wing populist splinter parties? Their main draw in recent years has been linking social ills to immigration. Unlike right-wing populist parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, or France, they have never become major players, failing to clear the 5% cutoff on the federal level.

              * the party Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger belongs to, and junior partner to the Christian Democrats in the current German government

              The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

              by lotlizard on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:56:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  heh..don't all these people seem sooo dated? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lotlizard
                The Left Party, which includes the ex-communists, just to poke U.S.-NATO Cold Warriors in the eye?
                ...but are they, or do they still have some steam?

                Dammed if I know, I'm still stuck in the 60's :>

                This machine kills Fascists.

                by KenBee on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:37:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Enemies? Evidence? (0+ / 0-)

          Hardly.  Are the US and Israel enemies?  Then why does Pollard remain in prison?

          As far as evidence, it took me all of ten seconds to find this:

          http://www.dw.de/...

          As the article makes clear, the German intelligence gathering is limited mainly by the fact that, compared to NSA and the USA, they are underfunded and lack capabilities the USA has.

          As the article further makes clear, this is why the Germans won't push too far on this.  Once you start scratching the surface, who knows where all this data that was collected went?  

          Better to beat up on those nasty Americans with the side benefit of helping EU companies grab more of the lucrative data management sector through dubious claims that it is they, not the Americans, who can guard it better.

          "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

          by FDRDemocrat on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:20:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Comparative studies Better (0+ / 0-)

        I will see if I can dig this up and link to it, but a US law firm recently did a comparative study and found that US protections were as strong, if not stronger, as those in the EU.

        Bear in mind the EU has a strong commercial motivation for constantly painting the USA as an insecure and weak privacy domain.  US and EU companies are in fierce competition for market share in the tech sector, especially in the booming industry of data management.  We are talking billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs.

        US companies try to assure customers their data is safest with them.  EU companies do the same.  Politicians of both sides protect their constituencies.

        As far as the current US/EU spat, it will die down soon.  Both sides are clever enough to know that no one wins when you start bashing the other for collecting intelligence.  The EU values its intelligence sharing relationships with the US too much.

        A better question for German voters would be whether and how their own governments used intelligence gathered by the US - was it used for German domestic purposes by German government agencies in ways that were illegal and improper?  

        Bashing the USA is a sign that the German Government doesn't want to go that route.  It is also a sign that this will die down sooner than you think.

        "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

        by FDRDemocrat on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:13:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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