All over Europe, government officials are doing their best interpretation of Captain Renault in the movie Casablanca, who declared himself “Shocked – shocked!” when he learnt there was gambling going on. Rather than gambling, though, European leaders are expressing shock over the revelation that nations – even allies – spy on each other.
Part of the surprise may arise from the fact that allegations of American tapping of senior officials’ mobile phones have come at the same time – and apparently from the same source – as earlier revelations of widespread data gathering and surveillance by the National Security Agency as part of US counter-terrorism efforts. Presumably, listening to the conversations of allied leaders does not have any counter-terrorism value. Continue reading »