Rules? In a Knife Fight? No Rules!
I had to laugh at the headlines:
Now France and Germany want new rules for spying.
It seems to me that the very nature of serious espionage is that you will be breaking the rules.
The primary rule for espionage is that you do not get caught.
In, NSA Surveillance Threatens U.S. Efforts Abroad, TPM writes, “Spying among allies is not new.”
“The magnitude of the eavesdropping is what shocked us,” former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a radio interview. “Let’s be honest, we eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don’t have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous.” …
The British ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, tweeted this past week: “I work on assumption that 6+ countries tap my phone. Increasingly rare that diplomats say anything sensitive on calls.” ..
Madeleine Albright, secretary of state during the Clinton administration, recalled being at the United Nations and having the French ambassador ask her why she said something in a private conversation apparently intercepted by the French.”
Without enforceable rules, what can limit the spying? Perhaps fear of reprisal:
Diplomatic relations are built on trust. If America’s credibility is in question, the U.S. will find it harder to maintain alliances, influence world opinion and maybe even close trade deals. …