This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Leaks help countries stand up to U.S abuse of power.

This week’s topic:

Do recent revelations of U.S. spying on its allies do more harm than good?

“I had to pinch myself after reading Brent’s column this week — and hard. His laughable comparison of the recent spying allegations against the U.S to eavesdropping on social chatter at a party had me thinking I must be still dreaming.

As in past Duels tackling the issue of government espionage and the Edward Snowden leaks, Brent’s repetitive defence of the U.S. government’s actions and continued outrage stands in stark contrast to my own stance. I firmly believe that people — and other allied governments — have a right to privacy and liberty, and must be protected from what I consider the U.S. government’s abuse of power.

Read Brent Stafford’s column

It seems German Chancellor Angela Merkel would agree with my view, after it was revealed her cell phone may have been tapped since approximately 2002 by the U.S. government. She was not alone in her outrage, as revelations surfaced that numerous other high-ranking government officials from allied countries around the world had also been allegedly targeted.

But the question needs to be asked as to why the U.S. feels the need for such seeming sweeping surveillance and collection of data targeting allied countries? Without a doubt there is growing concern worldwide for government spying in general. Thanks to Bradley Manning and Snowden, the issue has been brought back into mainstream conversation here and in the U.S.

Espionage with due and just cause under provisions of the law is part and parcel of many governments’ defence strategy — whether they admit it or not. But what possible reason could the U.S. have to tap the German leader’s cell phone? And, in particular, for 12 years as some reports suggest? German officials have already confirmed that any such monitoring operation occurring on German soil would be an offence under German law and those responsible must be held accountable…”

Read the rest of this week’s post at the following link, and don’t forget to vote for who you think should win this week’s duel!

One thought on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Leaks help countries stand up to U.S abuse of power.

  1. Three cheers for Laila on this one. Doing anything because you can is never a good reason to do so. The U.S. administration would love Brent’s simple minded approach to justifying their behavior. You will hear, if you haven’t already, we have to (spy) because the other guy does a and of course you are only upset because we got caught…… sounds a bit like three embattled Senators I used to admire. But here is the thing, being economical with the truth is still lying about it. This practice is becoming rampant at every level of governance. It will not stop or change unless we (you and I) stand up for privacy rights and demand leadership of all stripes do the same. We expect our leaders to make better choices for us than we might otherwise make for ourselves. Sadly, many decisions are not made on the facts. Outcomes morph into choices that are driven by fear, greed and manipulation, rather than truth, justice and integrity. High minded talk is easy. The hard part is practicing what you preach everyday, every where. Not just when it is convenient.
    Never stop holding their feet to the fire Laila.)


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