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President of Brazil Lashes Out At NSA Espionage Programs In Speech To UN 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the heavy-fallout-for-some-awful-powerpoint-slides dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Guardian reports that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the NSA of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information of Brazilian citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country's strategic industries. 'Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information – often of high economic and even strategic value – was at the center of espionage activity,' said Rousseff. 'Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the permanent mission to the UN and the office of the president of the republic itself, had their communications intercepted.' Rousseff's angry speech was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama, who was waiting in the wings to deliver his own address to the UN general assembly, and represented the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Washington's efforts to smooth over Brazilian outrage over NSA espionage have so far been rebuffed by Rousseff, who has proposed that Brazil build its own internet infrastructure. 'Friendly governments and societies that seek to build a true strategic partnership, as in our case, cannot allow recurring illegal actions to take place as if they were normal. They are unacceptable.'"
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President of Brazil Lashes Out At NSA Espionage Programs In Speech To UN

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  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:15AM (#44946599)

    Enough said.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

      by Austrian Anarchy (3010653) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:49AM (#44946857) Homepage Journal
      I wonder what the NSA folks were saying about this speech in the hours before it was given?
      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        They probably had several conflicting lies, and changed their position every few minutes.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @09:10AM (#44947049)

        Considering that contents of the speech were widely known quite a while before it was given by the press, I imagine they were probably stepping up their efforts to pour money into Rousseff's political opponents pockets while preparing an assassination mission, as US has usually done when a Latin America leader didn't please them.

        • by lexa1979 (2020026)
          I don't know if I have to mod this "Funny" or "Insightful"... So, I'll just leave a comment.
          • It's only funny if you consider it to be untruthful/unlikely hyperbole. Unfortunately, the truth is that the U.S. *HAS* done just this on quite a number of occasions, and it's not so unlikely.

          • I don't know if I have to mod this "Funny" or "Insightful"... So, I'll just leave a comment.

            Sometimes I feel the lack of a "Sad-but-True" category.

        • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

          by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @10:23AM (#44947869) Homepage

          The NSA doesn't do political assassinations - that's the CIA's job.

          However, they probably know that killing Rousseff wouldn't actually change much: She's ridiculously popular in Brazil (above 75% approval), but her party is only slightly less popular (about 63% approval), so chances are if she were killed Vice President Temer would just take over and continue Rousseff's policies. That means they won't try that, but will instead try to destabilize the country, curry favor with the military, and try to organize a coup like they did in Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, and a bunch of other countries in the area.

          • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @10:28AM (#44947931)

            It doesn't matter. Chavez was widely popular in Venezuela in spite of massive efforts to destroy his popularity. Now that he's out of the picture, his followers are not strong enough leaders to withstand the massive pressure US is still putting on Venezuela and slowly losing popularity.

            In many cases, a good cause requires a strong charismatic leader and cannot continue without one in face of great adversity.

            • by dkleinsc (563838)

              In many cases, a good cause requires a strong charismatic leader and cannot continue without one in face of great adversity.

              The thing is, Rousseff's party has other strong charismatic leaders, most notably Lula da Silva, who is only out of an elected position because of term limits.

          • by chill (34294)

            You forgot an important country on that list - Brazil.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_military_government#United_States_involvement [wikipedia.org]

    • by mi (197448)

      accusing the NSA of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information

      Which particular law did the the lady have in mind?

      Spying on other countries is what all countries do — to the best of their abilities. Perhaps, Brazil's abilities aren't a match for those of the US — and not just in the field of spying. I can see, how the resulting jealousy — among politicians and ordinary citizens alike — can lead to some fiery speeches, but the audience better

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, but it's a matter of international douche-baggery and people getting tired of the US thinking themselves superior to the rest of the world.

        The rest of the world doesn't see it that way and doesn't give a shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:21AM (#44946627)

    I can't wait until Bush is no longer president so all these foreign countries no longer hate the US. Between Iran stil enriching uranium, Syria using chemical weapons daring us to do something, Russia ridiculing the US, and now Brazil making this speech the standing of the US in world view is at an all time low point.

    Whats that? Bush isn't president and the DNC has the White House. Nevermind, all of this is acceptable as long as a Democrat is running things.

    Carry on.

  • by homb (82455) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:22AM (#44946629)

    Commendable, but ultimately wishful thinking unfortunately.
    The NSA will just tap the underwater cables or enlist the "help" of technicians at the Brazil data exchanges to split the data feeds. When the adversary has this much money and next to no scruples, the battle is difficult if not impossible.

    • Re:Commendable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by somersault (912633) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:28AM (#44946669) Homepage Journal

      That doesn't mean that they should just give up fighting. The data is probably 99.999% junk anyway, but that doesn't mean that we should just roll over and accept governments breaking international laws.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That doesn't mean that they should just give up fighting. The data is probably 99.999% junk anyway, but that doesn't mean that we should just roll over and accept governments breaking international laws.

        Problem is how does a person or persons protest these activities? The governments are not going to stop mining data illegally no matter what anyone says.

        From an American point of view, it is well past time we start scaling back government power. Republicans and Democrats, with the exception of their stances on abortion and health care, are the same @*#$ party. First, we have to vote 90% of the current ass clown politicians out of office. Second, we need term limits to avoid the career politicians which

        • You need to stop making being a politician so profitable too. Politics seems to attract power hungry assholes, rather than people who want to run a country well..

      • accept governments breaking international laws.

        I'm vaguely curious - what international law was broken?

        • Well, I just assumed such laws were being broken after reading the summary. However a bit of googling came up with this:

          Article 8 â" Right to respect for private and family life
          1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
          2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

          Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_8_of_the_European_Convention_on_Human_Rights [wikipedia.org]

          So the question is whether this collection of data is justifiably "necessary in a democratic society".

          • Well, that's a very interesting citation, but I don't see anything binding on either the USA or Brazil in there, since neither Brazil nor the USA are Council of Europe member states.

            Note that, whatever your political feelings on the matter are, countries are not bound by Treaties they haven't signed (and ratified, if necessary).

        • by gmuslera (3436)

          What about treaties between governments? Probably the ones that control the government would be interested in the intellectual property ones. Countries of all the world could stop honoring all IP coming from US, because the US government is knowingly violating the IP of their governments, their companies, and of their entire population (maybe knowing where I am or with who is my privacy, but what about what i write?).

          And there is that little thing called Universal Declaration of Human Rights [wikipedia.org], that look pre

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:24AM (#44946639) Homepage

    represented the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden

    Really, "the most serious diplomatic fallout" was a (justifiably) angry speech?

    How about when Vladimir "Polonium 209" Putin suddenly became the world's defender of human rights? Or how about when the US and EU countries grounded Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, so they could search his plane for Snowden (a rough equivalent here would be the Chinese stopping and searching Air Force One)?

    Rousseff is almost definitely speaking for more than just Brazil: Her government is the strongest of a group of left-wing South American countries that have resisted the US for about a decade. Others in that group include Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and of course Cuba.

  • by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david,clarke&hrgeneralist,ca> on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:24AM (#44946645)
    Brazil has a lot of things going for it ... but the moral high-ground one of those things. Brazil isn't exactly spotless when it comes to human rights abuse. Sure, it's not wide-spread mass surveillance, it's just regular police state concerns (non-existent rights for both the accused and the convicted, and systemic government corruption), though they're not doing so hot in promoting equality (or addressing their widening income gap and widespread poverty).

    But hey, they're not wrong, and that doesn't excuse what the NSA is doing. Has done. Is accused of doing.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:36AM (#44946725)

      Brazil's income gap is at the lowest point of the last 120 years. Kind of like the US, only in reverse.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:47AM (#44946831)

      Having lived in Brazil, that place felt like old timey Chicago. Yes, there's corruption on the government side, but there's crime on the other. The corruption and surveillance is nowhere near China, and the crimes are not sadistic as the Mexican cartels. Brazil prides itself in modeling after the French, but that is just an ideal. And about the economic gap, Lula made it better and it has been better (relatively speaking) than the time around Collor's disgraced presidency. Keep in mind, it's a big country with very dense major cities, so change takes time.

      Brazil has a treaty with the neighboring nation to basically not attack or invade each other. Hence, the military is only there to support the regional police, acting more like a national guard but for violent crimes (as opposed to natural disasters in the US). It would be unfair to characterize it as a "police-state." The police "thuggishness" is comparable to the police brutality in NYC (cop pushing Critical Mass cyclist; Stop-and-Frisk program), Oakland (BART shooting), etc etc. Basically, this is the usual problems you'll find in any large city. I grew up during a time when the police would hit up local places for protection money or they'll find some discrepancy with your business and fine you (watch Tropa de Elite), but I believe that is on the decline.

      Overall, Brazil is one of the "good" countries, by US standards, and it's offensive for the NSA to spy on them based on any terroristic grounds. The US was spying on Brazil purely for economical and trade advantage, especially now that Brazil is becoming oil independent and has a growing economy. And Obama can't come up with a good excuse why the NSA was spying on Brazil, short of saying that Brazil is a dangerous breeding ground for criminals. Brazil doesn't even export mafia gangster like Russia.

      • by mitzampt (2002856)

        Brazil doesn't even export mafia gangster like Russia.

        That last sentence ruined an excellent comment. I bet you can't name half of the European countries, but on the stereotypical side you got us all figured out. If many of you can stop thinking that civilization outside US and Western Europe froze 10 years ago and stop gulping everything media/multimedia feeds you wouldn't the world be a great place?

        What happened? You don't treat anyone in your country as a (true) minority anymore and go for the closest type of alien? I wonder why Brazilians would be pissed?

    • by ospirata (565063) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:52AM (#44946879)
      What's the connection with Brazil's human right abuse with spying? This information has absolutely no connection with being subject of industrial spying. Moreover, the country has indeed managed to promote equality. It rescued more than 20 million people from above the poverty line in the last four years. If this isn't a big accomplishment to reduce inequality, I definitely can't know what it is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      The big human rights abuse stories where US supported via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor [wikipedia.org]
      For the past ~~20 years Brazil has had a "democracy" and a generation has grown under the freedoms and emerging wealth, trade and stability.
      The US was interested in Brazil for its emerging nuclear skill set, oil and aerospace exports.
      Things an "emerging" nation is expected to take a loan out for in US and buy via the US not develop domestically and export to the world.
    • Sure, it's not wide-spread mass surveillance, it's just regular police state concerns

      THAT YOU KNOW OF....

      The funny thing is I'm sure Brazil(as almost any large state actor) has plenty of spies, both domestic and foreign. They just have to feign outrage when another country's spies get caught with their hand in the cookie jar and of course claim that they would never EVER do such a thing*

      *such a thing is defined as actually letting their spy program leak to the general public.
  • by xvan (2935999) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:29AM (#44946677)

    Washington's efforts to smooth over Brazilian outrage over NSA espionage have so far been rebuffed by Rousseff

    Yeah, talk me more about those "Washington Efforts"...

    Obama with a poker face: Well we spy on you to protect the world against Terrorism
    Dilma: So I was suspected of terrorism, even if I was the candidate for the ruling party of an country without conflicts with the US.
    Obama: But with terror...
    Dilma: And If I was suspected of terrorism, the why did you spy on our major petrol company...
    Obama: Err terror...
    Dilma: Fuck-You.

    accusing the NSA of violating international law by [...]

    And the rest of the world, doesn't care what is the NSA, for us it's the US that's spying, so no she accused the the US...

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @09:12AM (#44947075) Homepage Journal
      The US has two main fears historically emerging from a Brazil like country:
      Exports outside the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrodollar [wikipedia.org] with countries like Japan, China - totally removing the need for any use of US currency.
      The formation of views such as a new http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement [wikipedia.org] locking up strategic materials and demanding market value.
      The CIA and NSA never want the US to lose control of their vision of soft dollar loans. Long term the loans get repaid with interest or the sale of local assets back to US entities by emerging countries.
      • by morcego (260031) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:16AM (#44948573)

        Right now, Brazil is the world leader in deep sea oil exploration/extraction (way, WAY ahead of any other). Also, it has the most successful alternative fuel program in the world (most successful by any measure you chose, be it price, adoption, w/e). Those two things alone paint a big target mark in the country's back, and make it a prime target for espionage. The USA tried to buy those technologies in the past, and was mostly refused, if I recall correctly.

        Some people will say that Brazil once had a nuke program. Who cares? These fuel technologies are a bigger threat to the USA than any patched up nukes would be, by the simple fact Brazil is using them, and they are making a difference. See all the wars that are fought because of oil, and all the anti-ethanol lobbing always going on in the US.

      • by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:20AM (#44948623) Journal

        I suspect its mostly the petrodollar issue. Because lets face it; the US Economy is largely farcical.

        If a major non-dollar international trade circuit developed, the following drop in dollar demand would probably be so steep there is nothing the FED could do to control inflation.

        Stands to bring down the entire house of cards.

  • Hypocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:38AM (#44946741)
    She's blowing all this steam and yet they refused asylum for Snowden.
    • Re:Hypocrites (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @10:11AM (#44947725) Homepage

      Back then they didn't know they themselves had been spied on. But I agree. It didn't take a Kreskin to see the spying on Brazil revelations coming once they started. They should have stood up for it. In fairness to the region, other Latin American countries did.

      • by morcego (260031)

        Back then they didn't know they themselves had been spied on. But I agree. It didn't take a Kreskin to see the spying on Brazil revelations coming once they started. They should have stood up for it. In fairness to the region, other Latin American countries did.

        Wtf? Everybody knows the USA spies on everyone else. Saying she didn't know just makes her look dumb. The reason she didn't stand for Snowden is because of some economic disputes doing on with the USA right now. It is as simple as that.

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      They did that because they were rightly afraid of US reprisal for doing so. Its only thing to complain about the Big Bully, its quite another to stand up and risk getting your teeth knocked out sticking up for some little guy.

      We all know the moral, if you don't stand up for others there will be nobody to stand up for you; but its still easier said than done.

  • the near future two main issues are : " Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the Arab-Israeli conflict ".

    So that's cool, both problems have their roots in the 1920th and not looking close to any sort of solution, Iran can transform their nuclear industry into a chocolate factory as long as they do not give their petrol for "real cheap" absence of proof not being proof of absence it can still serve as a bogey man (and they do enough creepy stuff inside to make it hard for them to be really "liked"),

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @09:02AM (#44946981) Homepage

      the end of the Arab Israeli conflict can only be solved in three ways,
      - decide that palestine is all arab (and muslim)
      - decide that israel is all isrealy (and jewish)
      - decide that this vaguely federal country to be named is a democratic country with people of various ethnic and religious back ground who need to live together and the only way this can happen is to totally extirpate any reference to any specific religion, ethnic origin or "nation".

      Choice one and two would mean lots of dead people, choice three would be seen as a "bad example" for the neighbours and protectors...

      The thing is, that a lot of Americans would like to see choice 2, that Israel, including the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, be Israeli Jewish territory. This has a lot to do with conservative Christians who believe that the restoration of the Jews to Israel is a precursor to the Second Coming of Jesus, and also believe that Muslims are the Satanic forces they'll be battling at Armageddon. Some also have a goal of matching the borders of modern Israel with the borders described in the Book of Joshua and other texts that would eventually have Israel taking over the Sinai from Egypt, all of Lebanon, about 2/3 of Syria (up to the Euphrates), and a good portion of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, in all cases kicking out or exterminating the Muslims living there and replacing them with Jews.

      That kind of religious thinking is a major motivator of US-Israel relations, more than AIPAC (because there are other Jewish-American lobbying groups advocating different policies), more than the potential campaign donations from Jewish-Americans (again, there's significant divides among Jewish-Americans over the best policy for Israel), and more than what the government of Israel wants (the US has not been supportive of Israeli government efforts to remove settlers from the West Bank or Gaza, for example). Sure, their preferred policy would result in a lot of dead people, but from that crowd's point of view those dead people were irredeemably evil and thus should be killed at first opportunity.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        It really should be no more of a US issue than Liberia but there is a lot of lobby money involved. Personally I think Israel would be a better place without the US propping up what is really far right wing xenophobic interests that their own grandparents would recognise as fascists. The country is not so much in danger since their immediate neighbours are basket cases and nobody more distant has anything of value to gain by attacking Israel in any serious way.
      • There's a lot of religious tension in the region though.
        1. Ends with the Jews a hated and loathed minority, subject to beatings in the street, businesses smashed, children attacked, etc. Many would then flee the region... again. This has happened before.
        2. Can only be sustained by the reverse situation: In order to keep Israel jewish, they'd need to continue the use of openly racist policies in settlement and immigration - otherwise the situation would degenerate to 1.
        3. Likewise, eventually turns into 1.

        So

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:45AM (#44946805)

    I would much, much rather see Washington DC pay a very high, very personal price for their rampant criminality and violations of the Constitution, as in all of them swinging from the trees that line the national mall and DC itself burnt to the ground with large letters scored in the ground with a bulldozer that say, 'Don't Tread On Me! ---The American People"

    An angry speech by the president of Brazil is nice, but there need to be real consequences for these criminals.

    • by cusco (717999)

      Bolivia is suing the US in the International Court and other Latin American countries are expected to join. Not that the US gives a flying fuck about international law, but some people are going to have to be careful about where they travel.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by abhisri (960175)

      The real consequences are already happening. By Brazil making a "noise" about it now, it weakens US position regards other nations disregarding international laws. It runs the risk of say, other nations disregarding their Intellectual Property treaties with US. If US tried any actual actions to prevent this, they would just counter it by demanding punishment of concerned parties. Don't assume that US still has the clout it used to enjoy before. Think of China for example. USA just handed China a license to

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:46AM (#44946809)

    Brazil is about to buy some 36 advanced fighter jets. The three short-listed candidates were Dassault Rafale from France, SAAB Gripen from Sweden and the Boeing-Northrop Super Hornet from the USA. The NSA-Roussef scandal essentially negated the F-18's chances to win the tender worth many billions. Now the race is only about good political relations (Rafale) versus lower price with higher economic offsets (Gripen). Boeing's workforce must be grateful for the NSA's efforts in protecting american jobs...

  • by ospirata (565063) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:47AM (#44946827)
    The policy of saying "If it was anyone else than USA it would be worse" is simply ridiculous. Or even to mention concerns about terrorism to justify such spying.
    As many are forgetting, let's summarize the real reason for such anger: industrial spying (towards Petrobras, Brazil's biggest company) and spying over a government with more than a century of friendly relations.
    The article points this as well: "As host to the UN headquarters, the US has been attacked from the general assembly many times in the past, but what made Rousseff's denunciation all the more painful diplomatically was the fact that it was delivered on behalf of large, increasingly powerful and historically friendly state."
  • I hear ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @08:51AM (#44946875)

    Let me tell all of you from outside the U.S. that our government's excuse "hey, we're only spying on foreigners, not Americans" would be disgusting even if it weren't a pack of lies.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      That's not really an excuse, it's a feint. Spying on American citizens is a violation of the US Constitution. Spying on foreign citizens is a violation of treaties. So the sleight-of-hand is to pretend that because spying on foreigners doesn't violate the Constitution, it's OK.

      It would be more correct to say, because spying on foreigners is a treaty violation and not a Constitutional violation, American citizens lack the legal standing to challenge it in court. I'm not a lawyer, but I would guess that an i

      • by jittles (1613415)

        That's not really an excuse, it's a feint. Spying on American citizens is a violation of the US Constitution. Spying on foreign citizens is a violation of treaties. So the sleight-of-hand is to pretend that because spying on foreigners doesn't violate the Constitution, it's OK.

        It would be more correct to say, because spying on foreigners is a treaty violation and not a Constitutional violation, American citizens lack the legal standing to challenge it in court. I'm not a lawyer, but I would guess that an international court would be the place to raise a complaint, and it would require a foreign government to file a case.

        I have not heard of anyone doing that, but that may be just a case of the famously selective American media not deigning to inform me. Because OMG did you see Miley Cyrus shaking her booty?!

        Can you state the names of the treaties that the NSA is specifically violating? While in general, I would say that what they are doing is reprehensible, I do not know of any treaty the specifically prevents us from spying on our allies or foes. It is generally frowned upon, and getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar causes all kinds of bad will, but it is something that has been going on for thousands of years.

        • by SirGarlon (845873)

          Can you state the names of the treaties that the NSA is specifically violating?

          No, and that's not my job. By now many people have said the NSA surveillance is a violation of international law. Presumably, those international laws are written down somewhere. We are still waiting for someone to take action to hold the US accountable.

        • Re:I hear ya (Score:4, Informative)

          by djmurdoch (306849) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @12:35PM (#44949513)

          Can you state the names of the treaties that the NSA is specifically violating?

          There's the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, specifically Article 31, "Inviolability of the consular premises", and Article 35, "Freedom of communication". The USA ratified that in 1969.

      • Re:I hear ya (Score:4, Informative)

        by Monsuco (998964) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @11:24AM (#44948689) Homepage

        It would be more correct to say, because spying on foreigners is a treaty violation and not a Constitutional violation, American citizens lack the legal standing to challenge it in court. I'm not a lawyer, but I would guess that an international court would be the place to raise a complaint, and it would require a foreign government to file a case

        It would also require the international criminal court to have jurisdiction. The USA has never agreed to be subject to its rulings and has refused to abide by the Hague's suggestions in the past.

        On one instance, the USA refused to pay damages to a Latin American country after we attempted to overthrow their current dictator.

        On another case, Texas sentenced a couple of Mexican citizens to death in response to a double rape & double homicide they had committed. Mexico demanded the execution be halted. The international courts ordered Texas to halt the execution. George Bush sued Texas claiming that he had the authority to prevent Texas from interfering with his ability to conduct foreign policy and that the Hague's ruling meant Texas must call off the execution. The case ended up before the US Supreme Court which ruled that the US Constitution gave Texas the authority to execute criminals and that the US Constitution trumps international laws, international courts & the President's foreign policy interest. Texas proceeded to execute the two murderers.

      • The people of the US, and members of congress, still hold the constitution dear - even those that don't cannot openly say as much, for fear of being seen as unpatriotic. Treaties, however, may be violated without much domestic political opposition.

  • Diplomatic fallout?!?

    "the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden"

    Seriously? The problem is that Snowden revealed the spying, rather than the fact the NSA was spying via a dragnet in the first place?

    Isn't this kind of like blaming the person who outs the pedophile for all the outrage against the pedophile?

    • by Guru80 (1579277)
      I think you are not comprehending what was intended. This summary isn't blaming Snowden, it is crediting him with revealing what was going on.
      • by tlambert (566799)

        I think you are not comprehending what was intended. This summary isn't blaming Snowden, it is crediting him with revealing what was going on.

        The fallout isn't from the revelation, it's from the spying. It seems like an attempt to blame Snowden for the problems the NSA is having, rather than the activities of the NSA.

        To put this in terms which more people might understand: "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!".

  • When looking at contracts, in many cases a good test of fairness is to swap the names on the contracts and see if both parties are still happy. I think this test would work well here as well:

    United States president, Barack Obama, has launched a blistering attack on Brazilian espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the ABIN of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information of US citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country's strategic industries.

    Sounds

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