Two Overlooked Aspects Of Those Leaks About NSA Spying On French Presidents

from the reasons-to-be-cheerful dept

There’s been quite a lot of excitement in the press about the latest leaks that the NSA has been spying on not just one French President, but (at least) three of them. As Mike pointed out, this isn’t such a big deal, because it is precisely the kind of thing that you would expect the NSA to do — as opposed to spying on the entire US public, which isn’t. There is, though, an aspect that most people have overlooked: the fact that these NSA leaks don’t appear to originate from Snowden’s stash.

Of course, Mr Crypto himself, Bruce Schneier, did spot it, and pointed out it could be one of his “other” US intelligence community leakers, listed a couple of months ago, or even a completely new one. As that post shows, there are now a few people around that are leaking secret documents, and that’s a pretty significant trend, since you might expect enhanced security measures taken in the wake of Snowden’s leaks would have discouraged or caught anyone who attempted to follow suit.

That’s not the only thing that’s interesting about the French documents. As Fabio Chiusi points out in a blog post (original in Italian), they are the latest in a recent series of very rich leaks that include the Sony archives; the Saudi cables; the TPP transparency chapter; and — not mentioned by Chiusi — 17 chapters from TISA.

What all those collections have in common is the fact that they came from WikiLeaks. As Chiusi rightly emphasizes, after a period when WikiLeaks seemed to have lost its ability to release important material — and thus its relevance — the organization is beginning to hit its stride again. Coupled with the fact that there are half-a-dozen or so people who are leaking intelligence materials, that development offers hope that things are really beginning to look up on the transparency front.

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Comments on “Two Overlooked Aspects Of Those Leaks About NSA Spying On French Presidents”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Bruce Scheiner

What is not legal is the NSA spying on Americans.

It’s more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule you know…

According to the DNI, General James R. Clapper, the NSA does not collect any data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. Not wittingly.

Jair says:

It may just be me, but spying seems to imply a lack of trust and I think is driven by fear. I don’t know if we can really imagine the paranoia the people in power have that allow this stuff to go on. But it seems to me that a country that supposedly values freedom, openness, and democracy should have neither a place nor tolerance for spying of any kind. The very act is the antithesis of everything those values stand for.

For the US to repair the damage it’s done to the world, a lot needs to happen, but some fundamental beliefs about what we should and shouldn’t do as a country claiming to be what we are must change. Fear must not be allowed to dictate policy any longer, either that of those in power or the use of it in others for their own gain.

Radical transparency, removing all classifications permanently, would be a good step, as a government that truly serves its people has no need to keep things from them. And as far as putting military lives in danger by doing so, US military shouldn’t be outside the US in the first place.

We are not the world police and we need to refrain from getting involved in other countries’ internal affairs. Our military could be half the size it is and still be enough. But to get there, we need to gut the military industrial complex and find a way to make it unprofitable to go to war.

And rescind all of the tyrannical policies that have been enacted since 9/11 to give the government more power. It was never supposed to be that way. The central government was supposed to be weaker than the state governments, as it was in the original colonies, if I remember right. It should return to that state.

Of course, I know that the likelihood of all this happening is about the same as a polar bear visiting the tropics. Still, at least it’s a goal to keep in mind.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“…the likelihood of all this happening is about the same as a polar bear visiting the tropics…”

Way off.

Hundreds of thousands of polar bears will have visited and enjoyed the tropics before any of the unprofitable things you mentioned will be allowed.

And if you were thinking that the American “We The People” might somehow get together and institute these changes to the income of Corporate American Leadership, you should know that the American People unwillingly gave up the right to bitch about their leaders, right after 9/11, when the people in power rewrote the constitution to remove the American People from all real participation in American Politics, beyond the ritual “casting the vote into the endless sea” ceremony that is held prior to the preselected appointment of the various seats of power.

But hey, you can still slam your head against a wall, as long as you do not disturb the neighbors, in the land of the free and home of the brave.

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