BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – European Union leaders arriving in Brussels for their summit were all toothy smiles. But don’t be fooled. Inside, they’re seething with righteous indignation over published reports that the national security agency has been listening in on the phone calls of 35 world leaders.
The revelation was the latest headline from the British newspaper The Guardian based on documents stolen by former NSA contractor Eddie ‘The Snowman’ Snowden, now living somewhere in Russia.
The confidential memo in question seems to show the NSA encouraging senior officials in the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon to share telephone numbers of leading foreign politicians.
One person apparently turned over 200 numbers, including those of 35 world leaders.
German chancellor Angela Merkel says trust between Europe and the US must be reestablished, “This issue doesn’t affect just me but in the interest of all German citizens. Now, we have to discuss what sort of data-protection do we need and what sort transparency there is.”
Now it appears Brazil’s President Dilma Rouseff is getting cozy with Merkel in tag-teaming Uncle Sam over this eavesdropping issue.
There’s a report from Foreign Policy that says Germany and Brazil will push for a United Nations resolution to promote the right to privacy on the internet, aimed directly at the NSA.
All this chest thumping and public indignation has Florida Senator Marco Rubio a bit puzzled, “If you are a US government official traveling abroad, you are aware anything you have on your cell phone, Ipad, could be monitored by foreign intelligence agencies, including that of your own allies. A lot of what you’re seeing is for the domestic consumption of their own public. But at the end of the day, everyone knew there was gambling going on in Casablanca.”