Europe’s capitals were expressing shock on Monday following the revelations they had nearly all been spied on by the Americans.
With many talking about issues of trust being broken and relations strained it is too early to estimate the severity of the political fallout.
What is being highlighted is the extent to which new technology, which on the surface promises more freedom, has potentially brought spying in from the cold, insidiously making it a part of daily life.
“It is taking place with the active participation of all the great achievements of the last 15-20 years. Google, internet, Twitter…
all of them have participated. All the things that we consider formidable advances in horizontal communication have proven to be means of enhancing control from above. This is, I think, food for thought for those who reflect about new media and democratisation,” says historian and political expert Prof. Jacques Rupnik.
The scandal spreads as the EU and the USA hunker down for talks on what is being billed as a game-changing free trade deal. With Berlin stating on Monday there was “no longer a cold war” to justify such espionage, ‘information’ may be added to the list of sensitive subjects at the trade negotiations.