French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appear at European leaders' summit today. Both are angry at the United States over spying revelations. (Image Source: Reuters)
Following the revelation through leaks by former security analyst and government contractor Edward Snowden that several European leaders, including French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were being spied on or attempted to be spied on, the same leaders are now pushing for new spying rules that would limit American intelligence operations on European soil. While Merkel and Hollande remain vague on the specifics, and whether it pertains to developing a no-spying pact like the Americans have with the British, it is clear that we see a breach of trust between European and American leaders.
The break comes as the list of protesting nations grows ever larger. While Brazil started at the forefront, with their President Dilma Rousseff admonishing the administration of President Barack Obama at the United Nations General Assembly a few weeks ago. Since then, Mexico and other nations have joined in protest. It has since been confirmed that the leaders more than 30 nations had been explicitly targeted by the NSA for spying.
At the moment, relations remain stable between the United States and Europe, but there is a possibility, a distinct one at that, that Europe will now want massive changes to take affect in how they handle disputes. With a couple looming free-trade agreements between Europe and America, the likes of Hollande and Merkel are probably more hesitant around accepting them. Furthermore, with the interest of "preserving the relationship" between the United States at stake now, claims that things will be okay in the long run seem unlikely.
America has lost a lot of trust from the NSA revelations, all because they seem willing and able to spy on anyone and anything. For what purpose does this benefit? Spying is useful in gathering important information on, say, terrorist attacks, but the only word to describe having to eavesdrop on the phone conversations of world leaders that are supposed to be your allies is "paranoia."