Aftermath of Spying Revelations

Edward Snowden’s revelations about spying by the NSA of the U.S. have caused consternation around the world. Not just amongst the governments who have been spied upon. Even innocent individuals have their call data collected by the NSA which has been acting like a major data suction engine.

But are things going to be any different going forward ?

Not at all, despite any claims to the contrary.

It is absolutely critical for governments to spy upon other governments. This has been a truism all this while, for more than a thousand years, or even more. Collecting intelligence about the intentions of both friends and enemies is considered by all governments as crucial in their efforts to forecast the future. Is there anything unusual about it ? No, not at all.

What is the difference now ? Edward Snowden walked out of the NSA with troves of unnecessary information which revealed the extent of spying by the NSA, even on friendly allied countries like Germany. The debates that are raging around the capitals of the countries who have been spied upon, and the intense debate in the U.K. about the role of the Guardian newspaper, etc., are too well documented for me to recant anything here in substance. So, the only thing now is that the world seems to be having “proof” that indeed such spying takes place but what has appalled all is the extent and scale of the spying activities that seems to be going on all over the world.

The U.S. Government has taken a measured approach in its cautious responses to spying allegations that have been levelled against the NSA. The Congressional “investigation” is not going to change any behaviour except to proclaim that the Congress has done its due diligence belatedly, and there will be some protective measures put in place to safeguard the interest of American citizens and allied countries.

I believe spying is crucial, critical and essential for any nation today. Especially when so much information is flying around the internet, there needs to be policies in place to protect the interests of any country (which can afford to invest in technological infrastructure) against any other nation. And lives have to be protected. Terrorist attacks have to be identified well in advance and defused. The scale of spying will of course differ from country to country, but no one is a saint in this matter. Everyone can be called a culprit !

So what the NSA has been doing is very important, and even the Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to suggest that spying is a required activity and supports NSA and the US Government !! Of course, he was a KGB spy in the past and we know what that means !!!

Well, so let us get out of our fixation about Edward Snowden and get on with our business. There will be only more, not less, spying going forward, and everyone should take it in a stride. Be careful about commercial or trade secrets though !


Vijay Srinivasan
22nd December 2013


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