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Snowden Accuses U.S. of Economic Espionage

January 27, 2014


    In Rare Interview, Snowden Accuses U.S. of Spying on Foreign Companies for Economic Gain

    by Jerry Robinson

    German TV company NDR gained a rare interview with Edward Snowden, which was aired last night in Germany. It was the first television interview Snowden has granted since his emergence onto the world scene last summer. When asked whether the NSA used its global surveillance network for financial gain through spying on foreign corporate competitors, like German electronics giant Siemens, Snowden replied: “I don’t want to pre-empt the editorial decisions of journalists but what I will say is there is no question that the U.S. is engaged in economic spying. If there is information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it.

    The NSA’s involvement in economic espionage is already well documented after it was first reported upon several months ago. Last September, the Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA had conducted intelligence-gathering operations against energy giant Petrobras, the largest company in Brazil. Petrobras is also one of the world’s 30 largest corporations that is “developing the biggest oil discoveries of this century, which are in a pre-salt region deep under the Atlantic.” So far, the U.S. intelligence community has failed to divulge what specific threat was posed by Petrobras to America’s ‘national security.’

    Meanwhile, in the U.S., President Obama has introduced “reforms” at the NSA. But his recent speech on “NSA reforms” was toothless and the details are fuzzy. Despite his long-winded speeches and oratory, President Obama has openly revealed where his true loyalties lie. That is, they lie in the same place shared by virtually every other President since World War II: The military-industrial complex. When pressed by reporters on why German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was intercepted by the NSA, President Obama’s response was telling: “As long as I’m president of the United States, the chancellor of Germany will not have to worry about this.” Does Obama really expect the German people (and the American people for that matter) to trust him to hold back the Orwellian forces running amok in Washington and around the globe? Apparently.

    Meanwhile, the debate still rages over whether Snowden’s actions of blowing the whistle make him a defector. Snowden has a response: “If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public.” I agree. In the future, when the history books are being written about these unprecedented days, I would not be surprised if Snowden’s actions are viewed as ‘heroic’ and ‘morally courageous.’ But for now, the coordinated witch hunt being waged against Snowden continues… And the world is being forced to make a decision: Should we spend our energy attempting to stop the “Edward Snowdens” of the world? Or, rather, should we spend that time attempting to stop the growth of an out-of-control global surveillance state? After this latest revelation of America’s use of NSA surveillance resources to spy on foreign companies, the answer is becoming much more obvious.

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