米情報機関盗聴 不信持たれぬルールが必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 2, 2013
U.S. must establish new rules for intelligence gathering
米情報機関盗聴 不信持たれぬルールが必要だ(11月1日付・読売社説)

The reported eavesdropping by the United States on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversations underscores the cold reality that the country’s intelligence gathering activities have even reached as far as the top leader of a friendly country.

Germany and other European allies of the United States have strongly protested the apparent tracking of Merkel’s mobile phone and other communication tools by the National Security Agency, whose main job is to gather intelligence via wiretapping.

Merkel is believed to have been a target of NSA eavesdropping for more than a decade, since before she assumed the current post. It was no surprise that she expressed strong displeasure toward the United States.

Director James Clapper of National Intelligence, which supervises all U.S. intelligence agencies and organizations, testified before Congress that it is part of the intelligence agency’s basic operations to ascertain the intentions of a top leader.

There are reports that the NSA has eavesdropped on as many as 35 world leaders. Actually, the United States effectively admitted to listening in on the communications of other countries’ leaders.

If distrust toward the United States grows stronger among its allies, this could have an adverse effect on U.S. diplomacy. The administration of President Barack Obama should do its best to mend relations with Germany and other countries.

Still, it is unthinkable to expect the United States to scale back its eavesdropping activities. It would also be dangerous to believe this.

With the spread of Internet and mobile phone services, intelligence gathering via wiretapping has become more important for intelligence organizations. Especially since the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks on the United States, the NSA has continued to be at the forefront in wiretapping in terms of technology and scale.

U.S. intelligence gathering activities have certainly benefited allies regarding antiterrorist measures, which is why they have offered their cooperation, including data sharing.

Key to national security

Intelligence gathering is vital to ensuring national security.

If the United States curbs its eavesdropping activities, this would end up benefiting China and Russia, which have been engaged in their own intelligence gathering. Terrorists fearful of U.S. monitoring would also benefit.

We believe the United States should review the methods of its intelligence gathering activities both at home and abroad, as well as rules on keeping secrets.

Washington has announced that it will reexamine the nation’s intelligence gathering activities as a whole by the end of this year. Congress will go along with this move. We will be closely watching whether the review will lead to the establishment of a new intelligence gathering system.

Countries believed to be targets of U.S. eavesdropping will always need to devise anti-espionage measures. There is always the possibility that any country will conduct eavesdropping on leaders of what they perceive as hostile countries. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is no exception, though the government has denied he was a target of such activities.

We live in a time when communication can be tracked at any time and place. It is essential that diplomacy be conducted based on this premise.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 1, 2013)
(2013年11月1日01時45分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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