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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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  •  Was a time when the most (2+ / 0-)
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    ybruti, SpecialKinFlag

    useful of spies were diplomats. Who knew the language, hung out with people from certain levels of the society they were stationed to, and who paid good attention to things said and unsaid (but implied). Who also had staffs maintaining friendly contacts amongst the lower class echelons. Petty criminality from any quarter (including the spies) almost always ignored and/or used as a tool of leverage for control.

    Every self-interested nation-state from the time of mere city-states has specialized in that kind of spying since before humans knew how to write down their histories for future consumption.

    This new kind of spying is there only because it's now possible. Our communications abilities are light years beyond anything that came before the digitalization of civilization. So of course it's been created and deployed, and our NSA, et alias probably aren't the only ones doing it. The skipped-step in all this was the honest debate about whether it should be done (and what it's really good for), versus the simple fact that it could be done.

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