President Obama Unwilling to Stop Spying Efforts

The Snowden disclosures just got a couple of notches more serious.

You know, EU politicians don’t care ever so much if the Americans are running around in the EU recording all 500 million citizens’ communications.

But now SPIEGEL has disclosed that the NSA actually has bugged EU embassies, and telecommunications at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, home to the European  Council.

European politicians are not happy to hear that they are a target as well. For example, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister said in a comment:

The United States would be better off monitoring its secret services rather than its allies. We must get a guarantee from the very highest level now that this stops immediately. (Emphasis added).

What I don’t exactly get is why this kind of statement comes only now. If I had any political power in the EU, I would have said this kind of thing at the stage where the disclosures were only about the violation of EU citizens’ privacy.

The American government has only “no comment” as a reaction. As far as I know, President Obama still has not complied with the request of a “guarantee that this stops immediately.”

That of course means that any idea of getting a Free Trade Agreement with the United States approved by the European Parliament is dead in the water. People might as well stop the negotiations right now.

That in turn is good news for the negotiations between Japan and the EU about their Free Trade Agreement. Japan does not need to stop bugging EU embassies and the building of the European Council. As far as I know, Japan has never done such a thing in the first place.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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