When the revelations first broke about the NSA's widespread spying apparatus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn't get all that excited. Following cues from Washington, her reaction was quite muted. In fact, only a few months in, she viewed the information as much ado about nothing. All major nations conduct spying and, besides, America and Germany are strong allies.
That was then and this is now. Merkel, who viewed the spying on innocent Germans as not that big of a deal, is now steamed. Why the big change? According to recent reports, the German intelligence service has discovered that the NSA was targeting Merkel too! It seems that the US has been collecting data and who knows what else from Merkel's cell phone.
This new revelation shouldn't be all that surprising. In recent weeks, it has been reported that the leaders in Mexico and Brazil -- again, two allied nations -- were targeted. Given time and more investigative reporting, we may soon learn that more leaders of allied nations are being monitored.
As long as the chief targets of this ubiquitous spying are faceless nobodies of the unwashed masses, the elite truly don't give a damn. Peons should have no expectation to a right of privacy. The powers that be need to know what we are up to at all times. But when members of the elite figure out that they too have been swept up in this ever growing web of surveillance, only then will heads start to roll. It is when it begins to dawn on them that federal contractors are listening in to their backroom deals and quasi-legal wheeling and dealing that these programs stand a chance of being pared back.