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What’s the sensible reaction to the NSA spying on European countries (with, ahem, some cooperation of those countries’ own intelligence agencies)? According to European Commissioner Viviane Reding, who is in charge of justice, the answer is… more spying!

Reding apparently told a Greek newspaper on Monday that the EU should have a proper counterpart to the NSA — “so we can level the playing field with our U.S. partners” — by 2020. She may have been speaking “off the cuff” and it’s very unlikely to happen (member states handle their own national security), but it’s still an odd suggestion when spying victims such as Germany are trying to rein in the global espionage frenzy, not ramp it up.

  1. I think it is inevitable that the EU will develop its own rival to the NSA, and the GCHQ. The British have fallen in with the United States, and there is no way that the EU can afford to maintain unrestricted access by the GCHQ, or the NSA to the rest of Europe’s security system. I believe that the EU will do a better job of establishing a clear social compact between their new security agency (now inevitable) and the people of Europe, than the United States, and Britain, have done with their own. In the meantime, the actions of the NSA and its dependent, the GCHQ, will have an ever increasing impact on the Cloud computing companies of the United States, they will be lucky to not be, eventually, locked out altogether. As an Electronic Curtain descends between the United States and Europe, at least until Europe establishes a certain parity with the United States. The vast digital library that is being accumulated by the NSA/GCHQ combo, of every digital record of every human on earth (and its stated goal is exactly that), will still present a problem that Europe will have to address is designing its own. It represents the ultimate vulnerability to the nation that possesses it, as well as the ultimate weapon. One needs look no further than the 200,000 records that the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, is thought to have obtained from the NSA. No doubt others with less altruistic intentions are obtaining, similar information, through the more traditional means of extortion, blackmail, etc. It is clear that the security of the security agencies of the United States and Britain, in the hands of the hundreds of thousands of government contractors is wanting, and this will present a huge vulnerability over the foreseeable future, a vulnerability that Europe will seek to block by all means necessary.

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