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US spying on allies at UN, citizens, NOBODY to do anything about it

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A report from the German paper Der Spiegel, claims that Edward Snowden shared information that the NSA has been spying on European Union conferences at the United Nations headquarters. The NSA has managed to hack into the UN's video conferencing system.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The reports keep coming about a beast running out of control. The NSA is spying rampantly, even on allies, because it seems it can. In the latest revelation by European media, provided via Edward Snowden, the NSA has been spying on EU conferences in the UN.

Such spying has no obvious anti-terrorism value.

The revelation is certain to outrage U.S. allies who have already decried previous revelations of espionage against their governments.

Documents provided by Snowden to the paper reveal that the NSA hacked into the UN's video conferencing system and monitored EU communications.

The paper quoted one document as saying, "The data traffic gives us internal video teleconferences of the United Nations (yay!)."

That remark hints at the flippant attitude the NSA has towards communication intercepts.

While we may praise intercepts of terrorist communications and those of our enemies, this network was actively used to spy on U.S. allies. That surveillance reportedly began in the fall of 2012 when the EU moved its video conferences into a new room at the New York headquarters building.

Der Spiegel says that documents reveal the U.S. has surveillance of more than 80 embassies and consulates around the globe.

The problem is that the NSA has gone much too far, gathering data and intelligence on matters that should not concern it. The wide net has allowed it to intercept some terrorist communications, but it has also gathered the communications of most American citizens as well.

That data has already been abused, with the NSA providing tips to the IRS on known drug traffickers in the U.S. for IRS prosecution. The IRS subsequently falsified its records to cover the source of its tips.

Nobody is likely to shed any tears over drug traffickers being targeted by the IRS, but the problem is that the gathering of information on Americans and the lying on behalf of the IRS are both illegal acts. From there, it becomes a small matter to take methods perfected against social undesirables and to apply them to the rest of the nation.

Naturally, the NSA insists it is operating in a legal fashion. However, hacking into allies communications and spying on them isn't likely very ethical, even if legal. It certainly carries liabilities once revealed.

The American people must grow accustomed to a much-diminished degree of privacy in everything. With a president that refuses to be transparent or to stand for the Constitution, and a people who feel incapable of changing the system, the new normal may not be desirable, but it is fairly entrenched.

The beast is already loose, and much too big to slay.

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