Niagara Gazette

Z_CNHI News Service

November 1, 2013

EDITORIALS: NSA's embarrassment; Anti-smoking laws

NSA's intelligence gathering is not very smart

New Castle, Pa., News

It’s hardly a secret that nations gather intelligence on each other. That’s true of friends and adversaries. No matter how close nations are, they have competing interests. Even intelligence gathered among friends is useful in developing strategies in key areas.

But intelligence gathering takes various forms. It can involve combing through official testimony, picking up gossip at cocktail parties and, it seems, listening to the cellphone conversations of other world leaders.

European nations are in an uproar over reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored the cellphone conversations of various leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It seems that Merkel’s cellphone was tapped for years, until the activity was halted earlier this year.

The embarrassing revelations are among the leaks from Edward Snowden, a former employee of an NSA contractor now living in Russia. Information that Snowden obtained from the U.S. government has been seeping out, revealing a vast intelligence gathering system by the NSA that gobbles up data from cellphones, email accounts and other sources.

Despite the NSA's repeated assurances of privacy, Americans simply do not know how extensive its data mining efforts are. Every time we turn around, we learn its reach is far broader than was let on previously.

Some NSA defenders argue that spying among countries is to be expected. But what would be their reaction if a European ally was caught tapping the phones of President Obama and congressional leaders?

Espionage is a reality, but a risk/benefit assessment of monitoring the cellphone of Germany’s chancellor would suggest that it’s something to avoid. After all, we doubt that Merkel is part of a terrorist cell.

Does the protection of America’s security demand that her conversations be monitored? Anyone who answers "yes" should consider what’s happening now. As a result, European nations are debating a suspension of  intelligence agreements with the United States. They worry that the NSA is seeking economic data to give America a trade advantage, using claims of anti-terror concerns as a cover.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page