The Face Of New Media Espionage

757 words - 4 pages

In late 2012, Edward Snowden started out on his ill-famed journey towards becoming the US top whistle-blower. He had initially contacted a reporter at a dependable news outlet, but for some reasons though their friendship failed to blossom. Thus, he turned to documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras who had experience in leaking restricted information having worked with past whistle-blower William Binney. By May 2013, Edward’s Snowden’s earliest articles about the US National Security Agency (NSA) were published where he divulged details of highly-classified U.S. spy programs including the NSA call database. Five months later, Snowden’s revelations had strained relationship between the US and its top allies including Britain, Germany, France, and the rest of the world.
Perhaps, more controversy surrounded allegations that the NSA bugged German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002- over a period of ten years. Though not clear whether the NSA only recorded phone conversations or went much further, what is known is that the NSA tapped lines of communication in the German government with futuristic surveillance devices. This discovery made realisable by Snowden’s action sparked outrage amongst the German populace who viewed it mostly as an act of disrespect. For one, the German Chancellor herself replied saying, “spying among friends does not work.”
The director of the NSA Army General Keith Alexander responded claiming that high-tech spying had helped to thwart about fifty would-be terrorist plots since the September 11, 2001 attack. Two particularly instances cited by the blaze.com where U.S. wire-tapping had helped to save countless lives included foiling of an attempt against the New York Stock Exchange and another involving some foreign terrorists. Moreover, the Army General hinted that he preferred a U.S. spying scandal to a failure in preventing repeats of the targeted plane crashes against the world trade centre and pentagon.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry also expressed his views on the matter; according to BBC News, he was quoted as saying, “we have actually prevented airplanes from going down, buildings from being blown up, and people from being assassinated because we’ve been able to learn ahead of time of plans.” Despite the seeming success of the US undercover activities, her Secretary of State John...

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