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United States Government Privacy

NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders 310

Posted by Soulskill
from the days-since-NSA-diplomatic-incident:-0 dept.
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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NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:37AM (#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.

  • NWO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:38AM (#45233309) Homepage

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

  • Who's surprised? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:39AM (#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.

  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:43AM (#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:I don't care (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sI4shd0rk (3402769) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:48AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:52AM (#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.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday October 25, 2013 @08:54AM (#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.

  • by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:00AM (#45233547)

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

  • by sirwired (27582) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:02AM (#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?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:07AM (#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.

  • Re:NWO (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:07AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry (762400) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:11AM (#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.

  • by paulpach (798828) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:14AM (#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?

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:18AM (#45233785) Journal

    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 !!

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:24AM (#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.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:25AM (#45233897) Journal

    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 ???

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Friday October 25, 2013 @09:30AM (#45234011) Journal

    ... 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 ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @10:11AM (#45234761)

    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.

    If he knew, he's responsible. If he didn't, he's incompetent. Which do you prefer ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2013 @10:11AM (#45234767)

    Do you understand what broken trust is?
    Do you understand that you will be the outcast bully because all you do is fling shit at your former friends and allies.
    Do you understand that nobody wants to play with you any more because you turned into a arrogant paranoid dick?
    Do you understand what do undo others ... means?
    You lost all your morals and with it any claims to be of any value to the world.
    Stop excusing your paranoid behavior and rediscover your former values. It will be long way of humility to rebuild any of the completely burned bridges.
    Whom am I kidding? You never had any humility.
    You just like a scared dog in a corner.
    The sad part is you all brought it unto yourself.

  • by Liquid Len (739188) on Friday October 25, 2013 @10:13AM (#45234809)

    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.

    If he knows, he's responsible. If he doesn't, he's incompetent. Which do you prefer ?

  • by dcollins (135727) on Friday October 25, 2013 @10:16AM (#45234847) Homepage

    "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."

    You guys who say this have to realize that all of this belligerent surveillance winds up targeted squarely at the heads of American citizens at home. The security apparatus does have one quasi-legitimate problem with their current mission -- If the idea is to tap all of the world's communications all the time, on the Internet, packets are not tagged with geographic or political-state indicators. So the only solution, really, is to suck up every packet, American and non-American alike, which is what they are now doing.

    With Internet packet switching, the only way for Americans to expect communication privacy rights is for everyone in the world to have communication privacy rights. Surveilling everyone means surveilling all Americans, all the time. Do you really want that?

  • by DocSavage64109 (799754) on Friday October 25, 2013 @10:16AM (#45234855)
    Do you think Mitt Romney or John McCain would have stopped these programs? If so you I would say you are confused. Otherwise, what is your point?
  • Re:Incompetent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jodido (1052890) on Friday October 25, 2013 @11:14AM (#45235805)
    It's a clear case of plausible deniability. The NSA made sure Obama didn't know what they were up to so he wouldn't be obliged to either stop them or lie. That's what good underlings do. "Will no one rid me of this cursed priest?"

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