Quick Take: What will be the effects of US spying on allied countries?
US must make up for lost ground with European allies
By Katlyn Hirowaka
Our government recently came under fire for spying on European allies. President Barack Obama gave the NSA permission to tap into German chancellor Angela Merkel’s private email and phone conversations. This prompted angry European leaders to personally complain to Obama. Since the scandal there has been a lot of backtracking by the U.S., but European countries do not seem to be buying any apologies.
Even though the U.S. Senate and the Obama administration claim that they are going to ban spying on Germany, I highly doubt that the U.S. will do so. The German government is outraged by the reveal of these spying scandals but would not dare spy on the U.S. on the same level because it is illegal and against international norms.
This scandal has created a new rift between the U.S. and its allies. The decreased level of trust between some European countries and the Obama administration has been detrimental. In fact, many countries have not seen the point of the U.S. gathering information through spying.
After 9/11 the U.S. took great measures to increase regulation of national security. An example of this is the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. This is a clear example of the U.S.’s paranoid attitude following 9/11. The European attitude is very different from the U.S. in this regard. European countries are more cautious about maintaining foreign relationships, so there is no reason to believe that this kind of spying will provoke any retaliation.
If the U.S. wishes to repair its relationships with the allies that it has spied on, then there should be attempts to stop the spying on “friends,” as Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy, recently told reporters. There should also be discussions between the European countries and the U.S. in order for the U.S. to apologize personally and resolve the rifts that have been created.
Katlyn Hirowaka is a freshman in the School of Communication.
Worldwide increase in international spying is inevitable
By Michelle Sindyukov
It should no longer be surprising to hear about governments shamelessly spying on each other. In 2010, the U.S. arrested ten Russian spies,Wikileaks revealed dozens of spying scandals that took place and in 2013, Edward Snowden exposed the full extent of the NSA’s spying on the outside world. Snowden’s actions created a storm of controversy and led to issues between the U.S. and Russia, but more importantly they are now leading to diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and some of its closest allies. Will these tensions develop into conflict? Probably not. However, it is important to look at the many factors that are affected by spying.
Let’s look at the world today. The fact that we know that the U.S. spies on its European allies does create a number of questions, but let’s ask ourselves this question: What country does not spy on other countries? It just happens that some countries get caught and others do not. The truth is that the U.S. government is going to profusely apologize for scrutinizing world leaders’ phone calls and emails, but from now on, it will just spy more carefully.
The overreactions of the Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and other politicians are simply ridiculous. This year Snowden’s leaks made it well-known that the U.S. spies on random citizens globally; it would only make sense that the U.S. spies on politicians as well. Unlike everyday citizens, politicians have a lot of influence on the world economy and international politics. Any world leaders who were shocked to hear about the U.S. spying on them are not being honest with the public and themselves.
Right now, President Barack Obama has no choice but to try to convince people that the U.S. is going to stop spying. Looking back 12 years to when American spying was of a much smaller scale, the 9/11 attacks killed 3,000 people. We do not want this to happen again, especially if it could have probably been avoided if the terrorists’ emails and phone calls would have been tracked beforehand. Spying ahead of time helps to prevent such horrific events from taking place.
Finally, the exposure of the scandal increased the number of spies worldwide. The U.S. government has learned that there are people who want to expose everything they know to the public. An easy way to fight the problem would be to increase the number of spies so that there will be more people working but each individual will know less specific secrets. When we have one spy that knows a lot of things, it is extremely risky for national security. Yet, when hundreds know different secrets, chances that one spy will risk the security of the country as badly as Snowden did are lessened.
Now, let’s look at modern politics and ask ourselves: will other countries stop spying on each other and decrease the size of their secret spying services? Not for another century.
Michelle Sindyukov is a freshman in the School of Communication.