[ExI] europeans say yanks are spying

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Oct 24 23:08:22 UTC 2013

On 2013-10-24 15:44, spike wrote:
> But I don't understand why they would care.  They aren't the Tea Party 
> and are not subject to an IRS audit.  To quote a once and future 
> president: What difference does it make?

Remember when GWB tried to give Merkle a backrub?
Obama has done it again.

She - and a fair number of Germans - grew up under a system of state 
surveillance. There is a symbolism there that is deadly serious, and the 
fact that the US does not seem get it is a very bad sign. Maybe the 
German ambassador should dress up like a KKK member for the White House 
Halloween party - surely the president will get the joke?

Of course intelligence agencies are up to a lot of surveillance of 
friends and foes. But there are presumably certain gentlemen's 
agreements about what Is Not Done. Flouting these are not just 
embarrassments, they are signs that a government is no longer in full 
control over their agencies.

I think the US is seriously losing allies right now. Worse, we are 
seeing further breakdown of an international system that - while never 
perfect - at least kept trust and interaction habits functional.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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