The future will perhaps tell us one day why France has remained so discreet in comparison with Germany or Brazil, for example, after the first revelations about the extent of the American electronic espionage programmes ... France was also concerned and today has at its disposition tangible proof that its interests are targeted on a daily basis.
"I think you're misunderstanding the perceived problem here, Mr. President. No one is saying you broke any laws. We're just saying it's a little bit weird that you didn't have to."
Remember when Greenwald et al. were all about exposing the NSA's "abuses" of US civil liberties?
Well, they sure switched quickly into just publishing whatever seems harmful to the US government and to the intelligence community.
Mr. Marion, who was appointed to head the French secret service in 1981 by President François Mitterrand, acknowledged that France spied on American companies, including IBM, Texas Instruments and Corning, that were involved in competition with French state-owned enterprises.
The technical department of the French espionage service, DGSE, operates a major communications satellite collection site at Domme, in the Dordogne valley to the east of Bordeaux, in south-western France. This site, which includes at least 11 collection antennas, seven of them directed at Atlantic satellites, is clearly as extensive and capable as the largest sites in the UKUSA network. Reports by journalists, cited in the European Parliament report, confirm the Domme installation, and also a facility at Alluetts-le-Roi near Paris. There were also reports of stations in Kourou in French Guyana and in Mayotte.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, responding to the news in Washington, said Obama had assured Merkel that the United States "is not monitoring and will not monitor" the communications of the chancellor.
When pressed on whether spying may have occurred in the past, a White House official declined to elaborate on the statement.
"I'm not in a position to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity," the official said.
"I think it's wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000-whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these — you know it just doesn't make sense," Alexander said. "We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don't know how to do that. That's more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it's wrong to allow this to go on."
Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department's Federal Air Marshal Service.
It isn't hard to imagine an alternative world in which the man in Snowden's position was bent not on reforming the NSA, but on thwarting its reformers—that he was willing to break the law in service of the surveillance state, fully believing that he was acting in the best interests of the American people.
A conscience could lead a man that way too.
This Bizarro Edward Snowden wouldn't have to abscond to a foreign country with thousands of highly sensitive documents. He wouldn't have to risk his freedom. Affecting a U.S. presidential election would be as easy as quietly querying Rand Paul, or Ron Wyden, or one of their close associates, finding some piece of damaging information, figuring out how someone outside the surveillance state could plausibly happen upon that information, and then passing it off anonymously or with a pseudonym to Politico, or The New York Times, or Molly Ball. Raise your hand if you think that Snowden could've pulled that off.
Activist hackers linked to the collective known as Anonymous have secretly accessed U.S. government computers in multiple agencies and stolen sensitive information in a campaign that began almost a year ago, the FBI warned this week.
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