Obama’s Data Nightmare is Europe’s (Handelsblatt, Germany)

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Should Europeans, or people in any country other than the United States for that matter, worry that the newly-revealed NSA surveillance program is legally authorized to spy on them? For Germany’s Handelsblatt, columnist Axel Postinett expresses concern that almost all of the major Internet companies are based in the United States and are at the behest of the U.S. government, which puts European data at risk, and the European Union at a competitive disadvantage.

For Handelsblatt, Axel Postinett starts out this way:

San Francisco: It was emphatically the last thing Obama needed. This weekend in California’s Palm Springs, he actually hoped to read the riot act to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. For years, hackers in China have allegedly been obtaining confidential information from corporate and government servers. Obama wants to make clear that this will no longer be tolerated and that the Chinese government will be held directly responsible.

But Jinping has good reason to react with an inscrutable smile and massive counter-allegations. On Friday morning, Obama had to openly admit that under his authority, the United States has been conducting massive worldwide data snooping. Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or living in the United States is under general suspicion of being a terrorist – and that includes the Chinese. Conversations are being followed, e-mails read, photos viewed, and files on servers searched. On a more limited level, even U.S. citizens are targeted: selected phone numbers at home and abroad are evaluated.

That is only possible because the U.S. has achieved virtual global domination of the Web through its prosperous Internet industry. At least in the Western world, practically every significant Internet company originated in the United States. Regardless of whether it is Apple, Google, AOL, Skype, Dropbox, Microsoft or Facebook: According to U.S. law, these companies are required to provide, on request, information about all foreign customers.


READ ON IN ENGLISH OR GERMAN, OR READ MORE GLOBAL REACTION TO THE NSA SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM, AT WORLDMEETS.US
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Author: WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)

Founder and Managing Editor of Worldmeets.US

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, wasn’t it convenient that all this .. hit the fan just before the scheduled visit from our biggest cyber enemy’s president? Is it possible that some small portion of the questionable practices was an attempt to keep our missles in their silos and our antiquated electric grids operating 24/7? After all, if anyone wanted to take us down, all they would have to do is knock out all the grids at the same time. Stock market, financial transactions, all that food…

    One of the reasons the “dark ages” lasted so very long was that merchants and city states had no faith that other merchants and city states would pay their debts. There was no credit, everything had to be done on a cash basis. It would be disastrous to, in effect, fall back into that situation and mindset.

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