Monday, January 20, 2014

WORLD - Reaction to President Obama's NSA Changes

"European critics react to proposed NSA changes" PBS Newshour 1/18/2014


HARI SREENIVASAN (Newshour):  You might have heard yesterday about changes to America’s intelligence gathering procedures.  Tonight we want to examine how that announcement is playing overseas. particularly among American allies.  As you’ll recall, some of them, including German Chancellor Angela Merkle, were targeted by American spy operations.  For more we’re joined now from Washington with Geoff Dyer, Foreign Policy correspondent of the Financial Times.  Thanks for joining us.  So, I guess the initial reaction to President Obama’s speech, what are you hearing?

GEOFF DYER, Foreign Policy correspondent of the Financial Times:  Well, it seems to be a cautious welcome.  It’s a welcome because this is actually the first time the President has really raised, addressed some of the concerns that people in Europe and Latin America had by the way the NSA was collecting data on ordinary citizens.  There’s been almost this slightly bizarre, parallel conversation going on throughout this whole debate.  In the U.S., politicians have been focused on the question of whether or not Americans rights have been violated or not.  And that’s absolutely appropriate, that’s what they should be focused on, that’s their constitutional responsibility.  But that did give the impression to lots of people around the world, there was almost a free for all on non-Americans.  Their emails and their text messages were just fair game.  So by addressing some of those concerns in the speech, that was really the first time the president had done that.  But it’s a cautious welcome because there was very little real detail or substance in there.  A lot of that’s gonna be fleshed out in the weeks and months ahead, and so I think people who are focused on this issue are going to be watching very closely to see the actual specifics of what the White House outlines for them.

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