Much is being written about the American government’s mass-spying operation, via the Internet, of friend and foe alike, so I will not comment further on it – other than to say that most of the American people are incensed at the intrusion into their privacy while, at the same time, their government bullies any country that tries to shelter the man who exposed their turpitude.
The Germans – both government and the people - are furious that the US, and let’s not forget, their poodles, the British, are stealing information wholesale while claiming to be an ally.
Meanwhile, the British people, ovine as ever, are taking the view that “if you have nothing to hide why object to being spied upon?”
The two responses to that are obvious. First, if we are all the same why not walk down the street naked? We do not do so because the instinct for privacy is one of the key characteristics that separate humans from animals.
The second response is that a nation which has no private commercial secrets, in an ideas-driven world, is intellectually bankrupt – and that might be why the British don’t mind being spied upon and are content to steal other people’s inventions.
The German economy is dependent upon their inventiveness (a quality the British once possessed in abundance); millions of German – and European – jobs depend on German ingenuity. They have every right to do everything in their power to safeguard their national assets from thieves.
Even if the US government guaranteed that valuable commercial property would not be handed over to American companies – a guarantee that could not be policed – it remains the case that dishonest individuals within the US spy services could sell these secrets to other – unfriendly – nations. After all, once you tell your employees that stealing information is OK, why would you expect them to retain the necessary integrity not to make a fast buck from selling it on?
The American government, in collusion with the British, are training their employees to be dishonest and immoral. That is just the kind of people you want in control of your democracy: thieves and liars. What could possibly go wrong?