All this silliness about Angela Merkel’s telephone being listened in on is ridiculous. Back in the 1980s, as an ordinary private citizen, I myself was aware that ALL international phone calls to and from the United States were being taped and possibly listened to. I don’t recall how I knew this, but it was clearly common public knowledge at the time. What would have been lacking back then was the manpower and computer power to effectively sort through all those calls they were recording.
I’m sure many people famously remember Prince Charles’ published cell phone conversations to his mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles, in the British newspapers, and that was back in 1993! Prince Charles should have been more circumspect, although in his case, it was British journalists who were listening in on his telephone calls.
If Angela Merkel did not realize people might be listening in on her cell phone twenty years later (and not just the United States) she has only herself to blame. When this has been going on for nearly 30 years as common knowledge to the public, we don’t even need Edward Snowden to tell us that it is going on now.
Every person in the world should know by now that cell phone conversations can be listened to. It is equally ridiculous for Angela Merkel, or anyone else, to have an expectation of privacy on her cell phone! As a government leader, it is up to HER to employ blocking technologies, or to watch what she says on her telephone! Presumably Barack Obama has to do the same thing.
Suppose Merkel had instead said, “They intercepted one of my emails.” Even ordinary people know that sensitive information should never be sent through email. This would be no different, and would merely demonstrate her incompetence as a leader to not consider this. Merkel should not be discussing sensitive information on her cell phone if she does not employ some kind of government blocking technology, and neither should any other government leader.
Europeans, who until recent decades considered Americans “behind” in the spy game, are just upset because U.S. technology now seems to have surpassed their own. The Germans and the French “claim” to be outraged, but they would most likely be the first to be listening in on Barack Obama’s phone calls if they had the capability.
Every government leader, and every private person, has to be vigilant about what they say and do, as we are now in the age where someone is always watching and listening in.