27 October, 2013
In the wake of Edward Snowden’s release of information regarding the NSA, a wave of other knowledge about US spying has reached the world Media. Yesterday Germany announced that it discovered that the US has been spying on German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, via her cell phone. Germany and other European nations have hinted that they will cease all cooperation with the US over terror prevention if the NSA and CIA do not cease tapping foreign information. In response to government spying and international tension as a result, many US citizens have taken to the streets of Washington, DC to protest further spying. The NSA, CIA, Congress, and the Obama administration continue to argue that such spying is key to protecting the US from terrorist activity and is justified under the Patriot Act. The protest continues today as it finds sponsorship by organizations like Stop Watching Us, The American Civil Liberties Union, Occupy NYC, and the Libertarian Party.
First and foremost, I was in Washington, DC for the protest yesterday, and over 90% of the protestors were in costume after 6 pm for Halloween. Safe to say, it was awesome. While the Patriot Act was in many ways useful to prevent terror activity, there is no reason why the US should be spying on allies like Germany. This behavior resembles that of the CIA and its Russian counterpart, the KGB, during the cold war. Signs that said, “unplug Big Brother,” found particular popularity yesterday, and they make perfect sense. It is not the US’s responsibility to keep everyone in line. It is rather the job of the CIA to seek out potential threats and that alone. Whether or not the US will be able to solve this diplomatic fiasco at the UN resolution Friday will be interesting; however the world and domestic response clearly indicates that no one wishes for the US to be the world referee. We, as a nation shrouded with international resentment, have no wiggle room to be caught doing unjustified acts of management like this.