Just when it seemed that president Obama had anger over US spying under control, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped to the plate with a hard verbal punch aimed straight at Obama’s face and the NSA.
Please consider Angela Merkel Backs EU Internet to Deter US Spying.
Momentum for a radical response to the National Security Agency spy scandal is building after Germany’s chancellor backed calls for European internet services that are walled off from the US.
Ms Merkel said she would press François Hollande, the French president, to back a push for EU-based alternatives to the current US-dominated internet infrastructure when she holds talks in Paris on Wednesday.
“We’ll talk with France about how we can maintain a high level of data protection,” Ms Merkel said in her weekly podcast. “Above all, we’ll talk with European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic.”
Some tech experts have warned that proposals to build alternative networks in Europe and force internet companies to store data about Europeans locally fail to take account of how the internet operates, or the continued legal obligation of American companies to turn information over to the NSA no matter where it is stored. US tech companies have also warned that a move to build secure regional networks would fragment the internet, turning it into a series of isolated regional data systems.
Ms Merkel’s decision to throw her personal backing behind EU-centric internet services reflects how politically charged the issue is in Germany. Mr Snowden gave an interview to state broadcaster ARD saying the creation of a European “cloud” that did not send electronic data to servers on US soil would not defend Europe from espionage.
“The NSA goes where the data are,” Mr Snowden told ARD. “If the NSA can pull text messages out of telecommunications networks in China, they can probably manage to get Facebook messages out of Germany.”
In her podcast, the German chancellor, attacked Google and Facebook for basing their operations “where data protection is lowest” – an apparent swipe at Ireland, where both companies have their European headquarters. Referring to the two US companies, Ms Merkel said: “That’s something that in the long run we can’t endorse in Europe.”
Ms Merkel’s proposal is likely to win support from sections of German industry, where there is widespread concern about the security of intellectual property.
Sensitive to rising distrust among European consumers, some American tech firms have signalled a shift in strategy, with Microsoft saying it would allow overseas customers to have personal data stored on servers outside the US. Other US companies, like Google and Facebook, have opposed such European clouds – which have been championed by the European Commission in Brussels – over fears that they could Balkanise the internet and hamper its operation.
Rand Paul Files Class Action Suit Against NSA
On February 12, Politico reported Rand Paul files class-action suit vs. NSA
Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday officially filed his class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over National Security Agency data collection, joining with two prominent tea party leaders to make the announcement.
“There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant and without individualization,” Paul said at a news conference outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records,” Paul said. “I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”
The senator also argued that there’s “no evidence” that NSA surveillance of phone data has stopped terrorism, even as the agency’s proponents say it plays an important role in keeping the country safe.
“Whether you breach the Fourth Amendment 20 percent of the time or 100 percent of the time, it’s still not the point,” Paul told POLITICO in an interview Saturday. “The point is whether or not you still collect millions of people’s information with a single warrant.”
Rand Paul’s Proposal vs. Merkel’s Proposal
On every point, I side with Paul. I also side with global hero Edward Snowden who stated “If the NSA can pull text messages out of telecommunications networks in China, they can probably manage to get Facebook messages out of Germany.”
There are other strategies worth discussion.
What about encrypting every communication and every message with security so tight that even the NSA could not break it? Under that proposal the NSA would not have keys to anything.
Is that doable? I am not a security expert, but actually think it is. The problem is massive sets of public-private encryption keys might make it a nightmare for everyone involved.
The irony is, for organized crime and terrorists, that effort is well worth the time. That lends credence to Paul’s claim “There is no evidence that NSA surveillance of phone data has stopped terrorism.”
What about disbanding the NSA?
I am in favor of disbanding the NSA completely on the theory it is worse than useless. However, even if that were to happen, it would not stop spying by other countries.
So, not only do we need to stop useless data gathering, we need cooperation from other countries to do the same.
That puts us squarely back at coming up with methods no one can break. Which in turn means that the NSA, nor anyone else, can have access to encryption keys, except by an individual’s name and a specific warrant.
NSA Wants Snowden Dead
Just to show you how much above the law the NSA jackasses think they are, one Pentagon official told BuzzFeed “I would love to put a bullet in Snowden’s head“.
“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”
“I would love to put a bullet in his head,” one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. “I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single-handedly the greatest traitor in American history.”
All Snowden ever wanted was for US constitutional protections to remain intact. For that, NSA and Pentagon jackasses want him killed. Who are the real traitors here?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock