Now it turns out, as reported by the New York Times that the NSA not only spies for economic reasons relating to national security but perhaps even for the benefit of specific U.S. multinationals. Thus, questioning the long-standing argument that the NSA spies only for national security (unlike China), but not for commercial benefit of particular companies. The adverse impact of technology on privacy rights has now become glaringly known globally.
The New York Times disclosed that the NSA intercepted communications with the vice president of the European Commission who has broad oversight of antitrust issues in Europe. The commission has broad authority over local and foreign companies and has been very aggressive in its investigations and in holding U.S. firms responsible under EU law. The EU has been involved in a lengthy standoff with Google over its search engine.
Of course, Google has been one Internet company that has to an unknown degree cooperated with the NSA in its surveillance activities, as well as being unknowingly a target of its activities, as have been other technology and telecom companies. These companies now seemingly regret their earlier complicity and belatedly propose much tighter corporate and government safeguards. The adverse impact of technology on privacy rights has now become glaringly known globally.
The most recent news is very disturbing. We really need more information to know what is the full story. We’ll see.
…. “NSA Spied on Allies, Aid Groups and Businesses.” New York Times (December 21, 2013).