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Germany and Brazil Gang Up At The UN


After five years of a president who was going to rebuild trust with key allies in Europe and with important rising powers like Brazil, this is where we are: Brazil and Germany are jointly sponsoring a resolution to the floor of the UN General Assembly condemning invasions of privacy. The resolution doesn’t name names, but as the BBC reports, one doesn’t have to squint to read between the lines:

The draft calls on the 193-member assembly to declare that it is “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any surveillance of communications”.

This includes “extraterritorial surveillance of communications, their interception, as well as the collection of personal data, in particular massive surveillance, interception and data collection”.

The hypocrisy of the resolution—in Europe at least, European spy agencies appear to have been at least partly complicit in what the NSA was doing—shouldn’t blind us to the public diplomacy liability this is proving to be for the United States. The Obama administration should get on top of this scandal in a big and public way, and soon.

[Edward Snowden photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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  • tarentius

    Today the EU responded to this “scandal” by demanding an EU level espionage agency so that the EU could “level the playing field” with the US.
    Please explain to me why a decade plus after the Cold War ended that the US still commits itself to put Americans into harms way to protect the Europeans?

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