In this morning's post, I mentioned that it wouldn't be surprising to learn that the NSA has spied on numerous world leaders, including allies. Well...only a few minutes after reading the article about German outrage re the alleged NSA spying on Chancellor Merkel, I read this from the Guardian:
The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its "customer" departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their "Rolodexes" so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.
The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately "tasked" for monitoring by the NSA.
The revelation is set to add to mounting diplomatic tensions between the US and its allies, after the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday accused the US of tapping her mobile phone.
After Merkel's allegations became public, White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that said the US "is not monitoring and will not monitor" the German chancellor's communications. But that failed to quell the row, as officials in Berlin quickly pointed out that the US did not deny monitoring the phone in the past.
This is the problem with ubiquitous spying. Everybody and their uncle gets caught up in the dragnet. Friend or foe doesn't matter! When you have the capability to tap into all forms of electronic communications, you probably will do so indiscriminately. What's to stop you?
If you really think about it, the NSA is like a Peeping Tom. I bet they get their jollies off of the fact that they can "look in" on a-n-y-b-o-d-y they damn well want to whenever they want to. They can watch all of us as we undress, figuratively speaking.