What’s the Latest Development?
Edward Snowden’s illegal disclosure of NSA surveillance techniques will loom over upcoming trade negotiations between the US and EU called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). “The latest disclosure alleges that the NSA bugged EU offices and that half a billion phone calls, e-mails, and text messages from Germany alone are tapped by the US in an average month – far surpassing the average attention given to other European allies. In fact, Germany is spied on just as often as China or Iraq, the paper claims.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Beyond diplomatic posturing likely to occur on both sides, Europeans (especially Germans) are concerned that NSA surveillance activities may make business deals unfairly one-sided, akin to looking at the blueprints of a novel invention. “The Spanish daily El Pais quoted a slew of EU officials voicing their outrage. The European commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, Viviane Reding, said plainly: ‘Partners do not spy on each other. We cannot negotiate over a big transatlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators.”
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com