"Even after West Germany's economic recovery and its rise to NATO membership, the United States and Britain excluded it from the 'SIGINT' inner circle. The potential benefits of including the Bonn government were outweighed by the risks of Soviet and East German infiltration. West German governments gave the NSA access to U.S.-occupied German territory, anyway," Charles Lane writes in the Washington Post.
"The US clearly wants to maintain a strong counter-terrorism capability. But protecting the role and reputation of US communications companies—and their place in a seamless worldwide web—is a crucial economic goal. As the controversy over the NSA continues, the risk that the US faces is that the unfettered power of the agency will ultimately damage America's internet companies—the symbol of US technology leadership," the Financial Times writes in an editorial.
"It has been a full year since federal agents snooped through the private emails of my husband and me, setting in motion a series of events that ultimately led to the resignations of Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, the commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan. The anniversary is a somber reminder of the unintended consequences and harsh realities that can result from unrestrained government probing into Americans' personal communications," Jill Kelley writes in the Wall Street Journal.
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China Blast Hits Communist Party Office
Explosions that killed at least one person outside a provincial office of the Communist Party in northern China were caused by self-made bombs (Xinhua), according to local police. Last week a car ploughed through a crowd in Tiananmen Square in what was described as a terrorist attack.
U.S. Skeptical Over Syria Chemical Weapons Declaration
The United States is reviewing the Syrian government's chemical weapons declaration with skepticism "born of years of dealing with this regime," said U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power (AFP). A U.S. intelligence official said Syria may hold on to part of its stockpile.
CFR's President Emeritus Leslie Gelb explains his plan for peace in Syria in this interview.