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NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the days-since-NSA-diplomatic-incident:-0 dept.

United States 310

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Guardian reports that the NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another U.S. government department. According to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA encourages senior officials in its 'customer' departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their 'Rolodexes' so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems. The NSA memo dated October 2006 that was obtained by the Guardian suggests that such surveillance was not isolated, as the agency routinely monitors the phone numbers of world leaders – and even asks for the assistance of other U.S. officials to do so. However, the memo acknowledges that eavesdropping on the numbers had produced 'little reportable intelligence.' At the daily briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney again refused to answer repeated questions about whether the U.S. had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls in the past."

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310 comments

Nothing of Value (0, Troll)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 9 months ago | (#45233237)

>> NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders

And nothing of value was gained.

Re:Nothing of Value (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233305)

Sure there was. It has embarrased the Obama administration, and destroyed his credibility with American allies. He now has about a 40% approval rating, just about where George Bush was at this time. The best part is that it didn't take any Republican or other resistence in order to show that Obama was a bad choice for the office. He did it all to himself.

Next time, please choose a US President that actually HAS some political experience, and not the token Democratic black man.

Re:Nothing of Value (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233447)

He did it all to himself.

"The NSA memo dated October 2006"
Seems to me it is just another case of Obama getting blamed for the actions of the Bush Administration.

Re:Nothing of Value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233637)

Got to love it when republicans make fools of themselves

Re:Nothing of Value (5, Insightful)

paulpach (798828) | about 9 months ago | (#45233699)

Did Obama do anything to stop the spying after taking office?

Well, then isn't Obama just as guilty as Bush on this issue?

Re:Nothing of Value (5, Informative)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#45233867)

It depends on if he knew about it. If he did then he's obviosly responsible. If he didn't then that's of course also bad. Either way is not good for him.

Re:Nothing of Value (1, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#45233897)

Seems to me it is just another case of Obama getting blamed for the actions of the Bush Administration

Seems to me that you liberals can't get pass the blame game, can you ?

Yes, it was that idiot Bush who started the ball rolling.

But Obama had SIX MOTHER-FUCKING LONG YEARS to stop the program.

Did Obama stop the eavesdropping program ?

Did he ????

Now that he has been caught with his hands in the cookie jar Obama DENIED EVERYTHING.

This is not what a President should do.

A President is not a commoner.

A President (even for a teeny tiny country) should be MAN ENOUGH to admit his guilt.

But did Obama admit his guilt ?

Why not ?

Why is Obama still insist of telling BOLD FACE LIES, even in a time like this ???

Re:Nothing of Value (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233613)

Sure there was. It has embarrased the Obama administration, and destroyed his credibility with American allies.

No, no, no, no and no.

This is all just a bunch of political bullshit people. There are a wide variety of world leaders being monitored by a wide variety of governments, and the politicians and world leaders are all perfectly aware of this fact.
All these stories are, is various politicians jumping on various iterations of the NSA story for their own political purposes. They are playing off anti-US sentiment among their populaces to further their own agendas. Which is fine, that's how politics works, but stop acting like this is something unique to the US because it's not.
Other people might be easily manipulated, overly emotional idiots, that doesn't mean you have to be one as well.

Just because others are eating shit ... (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#45234011)

... should you eat shit as well ?

This is all just a bunch of political bullshit people. There are a wide variety of world leaders being monitored by a wide variety of governments

I am getting VERY FUCKING TIRED of listening to this asinine excuse !

Just because the whole world is eating shit, would you eat shit too ?

The world's government may be tapping each others, but they are NOT caught in the action.

America, on the other hand, did.

Why can't Obama just admit what happened, and then proceed with action to remedy the problem, instead of issuing a CATEGORY DENIAL to everything ?

Re:Nothing of Value (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#45233785)

It has embarrased the Obama administration, and destroyed his credibility with American allies.

I am afraid that much more had been destroyed than Obama's personal reputation.

I am afraid that the reputation of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA had been severely destroyed because of what Obama administration has done.

First, it was Brazil. Then, France. Followed by Mexico, and then Germany.

And when Angela Merkel angrily called up Obama regarding matter, you know what Obama did ?

THAT GUY DENIED EVERYTHING !!

Obama was caught with his hands in the cookie jar and yet he acted just like a little kid telling bold face lies.

As an American, I rather my president comes clean, admitting his faults, remedy the mistakes, than telling seriously inane bold face lies.

Obama seemed to forget that he is THE POTUS - and as the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, his category denial has shamed the nation of the United States of America.

I am sure, by now, no government in the world would ever trust the President of the United States, nor the nation of the United States of America.

In other words, Obama has shamed all of us, the Americans !!

Re:Nothing of Value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233311)

But all respect for the U.S. was lost along the way.

Re:Nothing of Value (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233339)

We did discover that Angela Merkel prefers Ikea brand shitting tables* and enjoys equine interspecies sex videos and being crapped on by a man named Hans.

* Basically a glass coffee table you get under and people crap on, so you can see yourself being "shat on" in real-time

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Nothing of Value (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45233427)

No, this is pretty much normal spying. If you had a spy agency and didn't monitor other nations for strategic advantage, you'd wonder what the hell they were doing. I'm not saying it's unreasonable to be opposed, because moral objections are best objections, just that pretending it's bad spycraft is silly.

Re:Nothing of Value (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233465)

No, this is pretty much normal spying.

Heh, I bet you when they report Germany spied on Obama's phone, US will order a nuclear strike in a show of outrage.
It's only "normal" spying because we do it and not them.

Re:Nothing of Value (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233517)

No, this is pretty much normal spying.

Heh, I bet you when they report Germany spied on Obama's phone, US will order a nuclear strike in a show of outrage. It's only "normal" spying because we do it and not them.

Yeah, riiiight.. we'd order a nuclear strike. Cause we throw nukes around like candy. Grow up.

Re:Nothing of Value (1)

neo8750 (566137) | about 9 months ago | (#45233713)

And you missed his point completely...

Re:Nothing of Value (3, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45233825)

No, he quite distinctly had 2 points.

1. Hypocrisy
2. Free-slinging of nukes as a foreign policy.

#2 is hyperbole, but there's nothing wrong with identifying hyperbole and asking for a more restrained perspective.

Re:Nothing of Value (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233903)

No, this is pretty much normal spying.

Heh, I bet you when they report Germany spied on Obama's phone, US will order a nuclear strike in a show of outrage.
It's only "normal" spying because we do it and not them.

No, that kind of stuff happens ALL THE DAMN TIME. Usually the leaders of Nations keep it to themselves, and arrange various back-room deals for example exchanging captured spies and such. The reason people are making a big deal is because those other politicians see an opportunity to make a bunch of noise in front of THEIR population in order to garner higher approval ratings and get their own pet legislation pushed through.

Shit man, just as ONE example, the fucking English spy on us all the damn time, this isn't news at all. And as has already been mentioned, the entire fucking POINT of the NSA is to spy on other countries. The controversy is that they've also been spying on US citizens, and they're not supposed to be able to do that.

Re:Nothing of Value (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#45233435)

So in that respect, it was just like the same leaders' public speeches.

Re:Nothing of Value (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#45233483)

>> NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders

And nothing of value was gained.

Only 35? Im surprised that out of the 196-ish [about.com] countries in the world, only 34 of them are considered as bad or worse than Germany [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Nothing of Value (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 9 months ago | (#45233961)

"Only 35? Im surprised that out of the 196-ish [about.com] countries in the world, only 34 of them are considered as bad or worse than Germany [bbc.co.uk]."

They should be glad that they have friends that patiently listen to them, it's what friends do.

Especially friends who still have their nukes in storage at your place.

The French Also Spy on the US (4, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | about 9 months ago | (#45233943)

http://www.france24.com/en/20131024-nsa-france-spying-squarcini-dcri-hollande-ayrault-merkel-usa-obama [france24.com]

And the french DSGE has been doing Economic INtelligence (Industrial secrets) for decades. For example in 1991 they were caught bugging all the seats in Air France jets.

Mon Du, Gambling at Ricks!

How may I direct your call ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233249)

NSA ?
There are already on the line.

A classic mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233255)

A classic mistake, you're only supposed to snoop on the powerless who can't do anything about it. Sadly I don't think anything will change.

Thanks again Snowden (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233277)

You douchebag!

Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (0)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45233299)

Sure they make a little public stink about it and feign outrage to get re-elected (yes that means you, Merkel), but where are whole of goverment cross-department investigations into the telecoms and rush of new laws to raise the criminal penalties for any telecoms personnel to knowingly allow foreign intelligence monitoring of national networks? Oh thats right - it has not happened (well maybe Brazil has some balls). Compared all the knee jerk reaction anti-terrorism laws that got rushed through, it is obvious that most of our countries leaders/politicians do not work for their actual country or are too afraid to do so. Voters to blame, as usual...

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 months ago | (#45233317)

the voters are not to blame, they have been deceived and lied to, and besides that dont you think those elections are rigged?

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (2)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45233341)

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me... fool me for decades on end - WTF are we boiling frogs here!!??

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#45233765)

I have a word for you, that word is "media". That is why it has been so easy to deceive people, and why I agree with FudRucker that it's not the people's fault. Journalists are supposed to be the biggest check against abuse. While politicians were being bought by a select few with too much money, the media was also being taken over by the same group, as was the eduction system.

If people are deprived of information and intentionally fed false information it should not be a surprise that they are misled. It at least warrants a small amount of sympathy.

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (2)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45233971)

I agree with you that mass media is hugely to blame but it is catch-22/chicken and the egg problem - if the politicians we voted for are willing to relax media laws, allow entertainment to be marketed as news, and worst of all not allow independent journalists to interview political candidates outside of marketing scripted election "rallies" - then we get what we voted for. Media just helps solidify power into the same old hands, only voting differently can ever hope to change that (discounting any type of revolution, obviously).

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233647)

Yeah, in 2000 the elections were DEFINITELY rigged. 5-4.

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 months ago | (#45233727)

they've been rigged for decades, every one of em, since JFK was assassinated, starting with LBJ there has not been a clean and honest election, they've all been rigged

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 9 months ago | (#45233343)

Sure they make a little public stink about it and feign outrage to get re-elected (yes that means you, Merkel),

The election was last month. She doesn't have to worry about getting reelected for several years.

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45233353)

You must have missed this story then: German Federal Police Helicopter Circles US Consulate [slashdot.org] - right before the election. What a publicity stunt, but the Germans fell for it obviously...

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 9 months ago | (#45233513)

Have you been paying attention to the news?

The EU parliament voted to suspend SWIFT, commission will ignore them of course ... but it will come up for renewal in 2015 and they need parliament then. A law with absolutely huge penalties (a percentage points of annual company revenue) on sharing data with foreign intelligence has been passed (slightly toothless at the moment due to safe harbour agreements, but at this point I doubt those agreements will last long).

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 9 months ago | (#45233819)

Soo... there has been a vote to suspend Swift data sharing that will be ignored anyway + leave plenty of time to "sway" parliament vote by 2015 when it comes up for review. By then the people would have forgotten anyway and public outrage will be even more fringe than it already is.

You mention a toothless sharing data law (link?), but as we see from todays news there is nobody in goverment willing to enforce it [slashdot.org] - it takes a bunch of law students to even get some kind of acknowledgment of the problem.

If that is the best examples we have of world leaders are falling over themselves to protect the national interests of their citizens and private companies against mass spying, then my original observation still stands. Most (affected) world leaders seem to be Ok with it all/do not work for their citizens or private home grown companies.

Where are all the nationalistic flag waving types now on this issue - all silent...

Re:Most world leader seem to be Ok with it. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 9 months ago | (#45233997)

"Sure they make a little public stink about it and feign outrage to get re-elected (yes that means you, Merkel), "

She got re-elected a couple of days ago.

35 World Leaders ?!? (0)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about 9 months ago | (#45233307)

So this does mean that President Obama's calls were not intercepted, isnt' it ?

NWO (5, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 9 months ago | (#45233309)

Makes you wonder which country is the real threat in this world.

Re:NWO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233491)

The realist will acknowledge that every instance of coercive authority is a threat. The only meaningful difference between them is the scale of death, destruction, and injustice they are capable of. Clearly, superpower governments are capable of orders of magnitude more death, destruction, and injustice than "tin-pot" governments. However, all instances of coercive authority necessarily result in death, destruction, and injustice, owing to the simple reality of coercion.

Re:NWO (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 9 months ago | (#45233511)

Well, it's unlikely that the Republic of Iowa would be devoting resources to spying on Chancellor Merkel. There's probably some point where one government is too big, too rich, and too powerful.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the population of Iowa is about the same as the the entirety of the United States when it was formed. Some system designs don't scale indefinitely.

Re:NWO (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 9 months ago | (#45233657)

The system was designed to scale just fine. What happened is that the system has been corrupted, and that corruption has been very thorough. Remember that the United States is supposed to separate powers and responsibilities. Three separate branches of Government with no ties to keep each other in check. Separate levels of Government with the same branch separations were supposed to keep the Federal level from becoming too powerful.

After a reset, we must remember what Socrates stated. In order for a Republic to succeed the members of the Republic must be highly educated, and that a Political class must be guarded against. People have been deprived of education in Philosophy and Rhetoric. Without those two things, it's very easy for a small group to manipulate them. It's happened over and over again through history, and we are no exception.

Re:NWO (1, Insightful)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#45233627)

What is WRONG with you people? Every country is spying on every other (with some exceptions). It's part of Statecraft. The British are spying on the Americans, who are spying on the Germans, who are spying on the French, who are spying on the British, the Americans and the Germans, etc. etc.

Seriously funny that you people are all so pig ignorant about it and that this is somehow a surprise. Grow up.

Re:NWO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45234007)

Dear US,

We aren't wondering anymore.

Sincerely, The rest of the world.

Who's surprised? (2, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 9 months ago | (#45233319)

Guess what, the U.S. has spy agencies and their job is to spy. It just confirms they're doing an effective job, which is rare in government.

Re:Who's surprised? (1, Funny)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 9 months ago | (#45233361)

Also, we know Al Gore invented the internet and we all know ownership is nine-tenths of the law..

Re:Who's surprised? (1)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 9 months ago | (#45233407)

No one with a brain is surprised. Government thugs are acting like government thugs by using their powers in ways that they shouldn't; what else is new? Semi-intelligent people may not be surprised, but they are (and have been) angry, and justifiably so.

Re:Who's surprised? (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | about 9 months ago | (#45233445)

Yeah I think this a lot. The US has a government, their job is to govern, and yet it's always news when the government governs in a way the people don't like. And here I am just like HELLO, they're a government: it's their job to govern things JEEZ.

Re:Who's surprised? (4, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 9 months ago | (#45233475)

It just confirms they're doing an effective job

Despite breaking the law, disregarding the constitution and making secret laws using a secret court which the people who they serve have no right to access? You may want to do a little more research on how the NSA is 'doing an effective job'

The real rarity in government is elected officials actually serving with an interest in the people.

Re:Who's surprised? (1, Interesting)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 9 months ago | (#45233495)

Don't get me wrong, I adamantly oppose the NSA spying on American citizens. However, this article is focused on world leaders of other countries.

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233621)

A double-standard is twice as good as a regular standard. And, besides, North Korea is doing it too so it's all good and proper.

Re:Who's surprised? (3, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45233953)

Don't get me wrong, I adamantly oppose the NSA spying on American citizens. However, this article is focused on world leaders of other countries.

So, the rest of the world has your permission to start spying on US citizens then?

I sincerely hope that comes true for you.

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233679)

Breaking which law? The Patriot act that created the NSA's sweeping power to tap any phone that is 'suspected' no matter where he/she resides?
Hmm.

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233535)

I don't know whether they are really doing an effective job, but spying on other country's leaders is certainly one of the things spies should be doing.

But I wouldn't trust spy agencies enough to give them the power to spy on "everyone", since they are likely to abuse it eventually.

Re:Who's surprised? (3, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 9 months ago | (#45233547)

Their job is not to get caught, especially when spying on allies ... they're not doing an effective job.

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233585)

You can blame that one Edward Snowden.

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233593)

Back to the Cold War it is, eh? Only this time, a cold war between allies and friends. So what to you think about eliminating the spies of they're caught on foreign soil?

[ ] legitimate, kill them

[ ] not okay, do not kill them

If the second option, why not? Just curious about what apologists like you think about this.

Re:Who's surprised? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 9 months ago | (#45233669)

Second option. Having some spies in prison provides good leverage during the more shady kinds of negotiation.

Re:Who's surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233643)

Except we never gain anything of value and then was caught doing it, which is much worse than having ever spied at all.

Re:Who's surprised? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#45233695)

An effective job would be getting human spies near leaders, press, mil and having total signals intelligence coverage too.
The US seems to have its crypto ENIGMA like 'win' but you can really only play that emerging telco/radio tech trick once.
What are the options?
The US totally fooled 35 nations signals intelligence teams 100% of the time for how many decades now?
Or the US was fed slight disinformation by 35 nations signals intelligence teams for many years.
Its rare for 35 other governments to be that ineffective. Most of their staff might be trained by the USA, enjoy the trips, shopping, further education, parties and defence projects. Enjoy the great speeches about 35 special relationships. When they get back home are they all going to sell out their nations?

Re:Who's surprised? (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 9 months ago | (#45233891)

Guess what, the U.S. has spy agencies and their job is to spy. It just confirms they're doing an effective job, which is rare in government.

Guess what, the U.S has armed forces and their job is to blow stuff up. That does not mean that it's a good idea to have them blow up America's allies. I know everybody spies on everybody else but when you are treating your allies like enemies it's time to re-examine which is more important to you, your alliances or knowing what the president of France eats for breakfast or where the chancellor of Germany buys her strudel. As for doing their job, I fail to see how US intelligence can be said to be doing its job in view of their complete inability to keep a lid on their operations and keep in mind that we haven't even begun to take into account the miserable US intelligence failures that led to the Iraq war which must surely lead one to lower the competence rating of the US intelligence services still further.

US considered hostile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233329)

This would be an act of war if it were done to the US by any other country. Why should we not treat it as one?

Re:US considered hostile (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233347)

Bullshit. China, russia, and france have all recently been busted spying on the U.S.

Good (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45233355)

That is their job after all. If this surprises you, you're a moron.

They aren't supposed to spy on their OWN citizens, but the very definition of their job is to spy on important people in other countries.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233573)

It is their job to spy under a framework of lawfulness and ethics, reporting and obeying to a publicly transparent system of civilian oversight. I'm sure that's what you meant.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233671)

This.

I dislike being spied on as much as the next guy, but what exactly did people think the NSA was doing?

Odd a Bush era program would get such coverage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233359)

And I'm not surprised that's not stopping the breathless dishonest coverage of the issue to make it look like it's continuing.

Thanks Obama! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#45233563)

nm, just seems an appropriate tag for a Bush Era memo.

I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233367)

The NSA is suppose to spy on other countries.

Sure it's embarrassing when that fact gets printed in the newspaper, but who else are they supposed to spy on?

And of course the "World Leaders" feign outrage while their spy organizations are trying to do the exact same thing to us.

Maybe they're more upset because their spies aren't as successful as the NSA.

The real news is still that the NSA is spying on Americans and lying about it, which they are Constitutionally prohibited from doing.

Re:I don't care (3, Insightful)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about 9 months ago | (#45233429)

The NSA is suppose to spy on other countries.

I'd prefer it if they spied on countries that are actively hostile towards us, if they're going to spy at all. No, spying to collect evidence is not okay (or else spying on citizens would also be okay).

This apologist nonsense is not surprising, but it is an absolute eyesore.

Re:I don't care (2)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 9 months ago | (#45233609)

The NSA gets huge volumes of data from the EU free of charge ... companies get a carte blanche to share data with the NSA by the EU. They are jeopardizing all of that by getting caught like this ...

So.. NSA is doing its job? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233379)

This is the NSA fufilling its role.. full stop. If you're not a US citizen and you're doing something of interests to our intelligence services you should be targeted.

If you're a citizen of an Echelon [wikipedia.org] country, you have no room to talk because your nation is a partner. (To be honest, I thought Echelon was Anglosphere only, but there's the Netherlands in the fray.. wow. )

And do not for a second act as though other nations don't do this. You can start with Frenchelon [wikipedia.org] . And to those who bleat about economic and industrial espionage, the French have been known for this since the seventies.

World "Leaders" are just Figureheads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233381)

These people aren't actually doing anything. They don't call the shots.

The shots are called by these subversive government agencies, corporate insiders, freemasons, and bilderbergers.

The world is run by the underground power dealers. These "leaders" are just put there to create the illusion of democracy and the illusion that people can actually change things.

The life you are living - every minute detail of it - is chosen for you by your underground masters. Enlighten yourselves please and realize there is no spoon.

Is'nt this what the NSA is supposed to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233383)

Monitoring the communications of Foreign governments. That's what the NSA is for. Sure those govenments won't like it, but hey, they have security agencies too. As far as Snowden leaking this information. I think he has gone too far.

Now monitoring US citizens, no, they are not supposed to do that. That is not what they are for. Let the foreign Government's agencies do that:)

Britfags vote these arseholes out of existence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233393)

And British MP Liam Fox thinks the Guardian should be investigated? Fuck, Britfags. Why do you put up with these arseholes? Vote them out of existence and that David Cameron arsehole too. http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/10/16/british-prime-minister-endorses-parliamentary-investigation-into-guardian-for-publishing-snowdens-leaks/ [firedoglake.com]

Re:Britfags vote these arseholes out of existence (1)

Justpin (2974855) | about 9 months ago | (#45233553)

What makes you think we have any power to do anything? Much as I hate Russel Brand, he was interviewed last night and pretty much told us how it was. That voting changes nothing as you vote for corporate stooges who act in their own interests. Which is why he doesn't vote.

hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233399)

"how dare you have sex before wedlock!?"
[goes home and has a long S&M session with a hooker to relieve stress]

Obvious (2)

guytoronto (956941) | about 9 months ago | (#45233419)

Everybody knows the U.S. intelligence community is paranoid as hell, and always listening. If not the NSA, then maybe the CIA, FBI, or any of the dozens of other intelligence agencies in the U.S.

None of these world leaders are shocked or surprised.

Why is Anyone Surprised? (2, Informative)

Kagato (116051) | about 9 months ago | (#45233431)

Here in the US countries like France are heavily restricted from operating and managing US entities that have ties to US security and law enforcement operations. (Bio-metrics, AFIS, Facial Recognition, Crypto, Official Identity and Credential Solutions, etc.) Because they are foreign? No. Because they have been caught spying on the US.

The only different here is the US isn't flopping over and whining like a European Soccer player about a little spying.

And as someone pointed out on NPR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233653)

Germany (Siemens) sold nuclear technology to Iran. Who next, North Korea?

Re:Why is Anyone Surprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233803)

And how is restricting other countries not "flipping over and whining"?

Actually I've yet to see any country that is as crybabyish and as self-obsessed as the US.

What are other nations doing? (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#45233487)

Where are their spies? Its as if they just let their top political leaders stumble around the world stage as bait for the NSA. Congrats on the election win, here our tested 'safe' phone, fax machine. Use it a lot.
A vast pile of documents are then sent.
In some safe house an inner group of political leaders meet as another group of political suits 'act' on the world stage with their leaky phones.
Giving the NSA and US just what it wants/expects to hear?
All the same countries faced the same intercept threats from communists, fascism, their own press and political rivals yet show zero skill when using the US global telco networks?
Are all the signals intelligence staff of 35 nations really more loyal to the USA than their own leadership?
Or are we seeing 35 nations playing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Quicksilver_(WWII) [wikipedia.org] with a US gov so entranced with its own intercept skills? With little to no human spies left for "reality" what is the US really gathering other than what 35 govs select to talk about on phones they know are junk.....

Why so surprised or offended? (2)

dysmal (3361085) | about 9 months ago | (#45233501)

Why are people acting surprised or offended by this? This is what alphabet soup agencies do! Don't tell me that other governments agencies aren't doing the same thing. Intelligence agencies spy on everyone friend or foe. It's their job. The only real reason for shock about this is that they got *caught*.

Re:Why so surprised or offended? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233973)

Intelligence agencies spy on everyone friend or foe.

"No nation has friends, only interests." -- de Gaulle

whats the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233519)

so what if they spied on foreign countries, isn't that what their supposed to do? what their not supposed to do is spy on me, for any reason, what-so-ever.

i feel like i am in Brazil, or THX-1138, or somewhere in-between...

people shouldnt care that a spy agency spy's on foreign people. how many people that work for our govt are working for the Germans, or the Chinese? that should be the concern.

Amerikans are douchebags ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233551)

Amerika has become one of the most belligerent and aggressive countries on the planet these days.

Your security and trade interests are not more important than those of the rest of the world.

We're tired of your shit and your assertions of "we're Amerika, we can do anything we want".

I sincerely hope the rest of the world leaders start sanctioning you, because if any country was shown to be doing this to the US there would be warships deployed and loud wailing about how your sovereignty was violated.

You guys need to fix your culture of entitlement and the continued belief in your own supremacy. The rest of the world might be willing to work with you, but not be dictated to.

I used to respect and admire the US, but now they've become everything they've ever claimed to be against -- a paranoid surveillance state, beholden to corporations, and with an over-inflated sense of entitlement and a smug sense of superiority.

Perfectly normal (2, Informative)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 9 months ago | (#45233559)

You never know when a world leader goes Al Qaeda suicide bomber all of a sudden, unless you listen it her calls. I'm sure Angela Merkel wears a Burqa secretly when alone at home.

This is news to who? (1, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about 9 months ago | (#45233565)

Countries spy on each other all the time. Even allies. It has ever been thus, for centuries even. Heck, when I had a summer job at the DoD, we were sternly warned that spies can come from any country, and were provided a list of the current "hot spots." More than a couple close allies were up there in the rankings.

From my perspective, Edward Snowden would have been a whistle-blowing hero if he restricted his disclosures to borderline-illegal domestic spying. But apparently he's done a document dump of every electronic intelligence program he could get his hands on... that ain't whistleblowing, that's espionage. If the US ever gets his mitts on him, he'll almost surely never leave prison, and rightly so. Why did he EVER take a job with the NSA if he thought all forms of electronic intelligence were bad and worthy of spilling the details about to the whole world?

Re:This is news to who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233757)

to WHOM

Re:This is news to who? (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45233789)

Why did he EVER take a job with the NSA if he thought all forms of electronic intelligence were bad and worthy of spilling the details about to the whole world?

Because the CIA fired him for those very reasons. He's not a hero, he's just an attention whore like Assange. Both do things in the name of the moral high ground ... yet utterly ignore the fact they do shit to harm all sorts of people.

I'd bet the only reason we heard about domestic spying FIRST from Snowden is because some newspaper reporter looking at the documents found them and wanted to run with it first, not because Snowden pointed it out. He's just another Bradley Manning, all pissed off he wasn't getting his way and determined to stick it to the man.

He is by definition a traitor and is just trying to use someone else's crimes (domestic spying by NSA and its ilk) to divert attention from his own treason.

Shield (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233575)

Was interesting to hear discussion about NSA and Snowden on Shield last night. Since it's all so out in the public now, you can bet that next year's inspector gadget gizmos coming to you from NSA will be not as easy to detect than this year's versions... Go go gadget phone tap.

Bring it (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#45233661)

> "eavesdropping on the numbers had produced 'little reportable intelligence."

Of terrorism, of course not. But what's to stop US factions from reporting conversations to favored parties in those countries, of their opposition's activities?

What's to stop them from doing the same thing in this country? "You're supppsed to get a warrant" is like telling a kid "you're supposed to ask me before sneaking a cookie. I'm going to the store now bye."

With little to no technological barriers and hundreds of agents with fingertip access, it is almost certainly happening here already -- not just spying on girlfriends. Yet these same people tell you not to worry -- while with the other side of their mouth say you need donation restrictions to stop just the appearance of corruption, mch less actual corruption.

Bye bye US-military bases in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233687)

I'm just joking. They bring in way too much money.

Dear German spies: (5, Funny)

Entropius (188861) | about 9 months ago | (#45233701)

Can you please spy on my government and tell me what the hell they're up to these days? I have no clue, and they're certainly not telling.

Thanks,
An American

and the reason they did it was (1)

utnapistim (931738) | about 9 months ago | (#45233815)

... because they could.

As opposed to all other intelligence/counter-intelligence agencies in the world, who do exactly the same thing, for exactly the same reason.

I think the reason they got "little reportable intelligence" is because when you are in a position like that (president of a country, foreign dignitary, etc) , you at the very least _assume_ your allies will try to listen to your conversations.

At this level "reportable intelligence" conversations are not carried over public/listed phone lines, but on non-public lines, where you can set up privacy and security checks, encryption and authentication protocols and so on (i.e. send a USB stick by a courrier you trust or something).

uh (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 9 months ago | (#45233827)

The U.S. spies on other countries? SHOCKING!!!

The funny thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233865)

Spy agencies do illegal things in other countries, it's their job. BUT: If the NSA (or any other US, GB or French spy agency) taps Merkel's phone they're not violation of German laws.

If anyone is wondering why the US has no friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233929)

they only need to look at the response to being caught spying on their allies: "Good. It's the NSA's job. Why is anyone surprised? You do it too."

Fuck you.

Left out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45233945)

Out would you like to be the poor leader who gets left out. What a pussy of a country.

so much for terrorists (1)

kirthn (64001) | about 9 months ago | (#45233989)

so how do they want to defend that it is to foil terrorists attack??

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