NSA Spying Becomes Global Issue: French President Demands Answers from Obama

French President François Hollande has demanded answers from US President Barack Obama about the National Security Agency’s spying on French citizens.

In a statement, Hollande also expressed his deep disapproval of Washington’s eavesdropping on millions of French people’s phone calls. Hollande said spying activities between allies are not acceptable because it is a violation of French citizens’ privacy.

Meanwhile the US says some claims by the French press about its information-gathering are distorted. Earlier, the US State Department announced that it does not want to see its ties with France damaged due to the issue.


Press TV: When the earlier revelations came by Snowden initially, it was understood that this was just the tip of the iceberg. However it seems the US is gaining the wrath of many, many governments around the world. What do you make of the recent revelations?

Schechter: Well Obama administration prided itself on its technological savvy and sophistication. Obama’s re-election was partly a function of their mastery of what is called big data.

They were able to use technology with great sophistication, but now they are being undermined by technology, a technology that they do not have under their control. One of the problems they are having is with the website for the Health Care Plan which Obama has vested his entire administration on. They cannot get people to sign up because the websites are not working and now this.

The NSA has become a global issue not just an American problem. You have revelations that have taken place in Brazil, in Mexico and now in France with people outraged when they have learned that the United States government is spying on them.

These are countries that are considered our allies. There were protest in France probably bigger and louder protest and there have been even in United States against NSA overreach, NSA spying on Americans and now people all over the world.

This is not good, not for the Obama administration because it seems that the entire NSA operation is out of control. Perhaps that is why General Alexander, the adman has suddenly stepped down. I am sure he was pushed and he did not do it voluntarily.

But you know this problem is not going to go away. Snowden has many more revelations to drop. There has been an announcement that a billionaire [Pierre] Omidar who is connected to eBay, who made a fortune on eBay is now financing Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who have been investigating this surveillance abuses.

So what we have to look forward to, if you want to call it that, is more revelations that are going to be damaging and embarrassing to the United States government. This cannot be very good.

Press TV: But Mr. Schechter, how concerned is the US government in actuality considering, with regards to this recent revelation the White house just responded, hey everybody does it?

Schechter: Well of course they are justifying, they are rationalizing. They are attempting to minimize the impact of it all, everyone does it, but everyone does not have the global reach of an NSA that is interfering.

You know I am sure that if we discover that the Chinese intelligence was investigating the habits and consumer practices of most Americans, there would be a tremendous outcry in this country. They have the capacity to do it possibly. Are they doing it? Probably not.

So the United States is involved in a high profiled espionage effort that is only causing more problems for the United States and I think we are going to see more revelations in the weeks and months ahead.

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Articles by: Danny Schechter

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