Snowden revelations lead to more espionage paradox

Edward Snowden

Snowden revelations lead to more espionage paradox

The revelations made by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden paradoxically lead to more espionage, according to professor Bob de Graaff of the Utrecht University. The main reason seems to be that, given the revelations about the extent of NSA’s operations, other countries are given an excuse to do the same.

Exactly because NSA is operating to such a vast extent, Bob de Graaff, professor of History at the Utrecht University, claims that other countries will follow suit and try to justify their own activities by pointing towards the United States. This is already happening in Europe. De Graaff:

“In fact, they [European states] would like to do the same as the Americans and the boo’s from the governments come in part from the need to keep their citizens satisfied . . . Amid all the commotion that Snowden has caused, European leaders have coolly proposed to extend the opportunities and responsibilities for their own country’s electronic surveillance, and they spy on the United States and each other”.

An interesting fact: while Germany has voiced high critique towards the United States for spying on Chancellor Merkel, they are equally guilty on spying on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton of US. [sidenote: I always thought Merkel was a hypocrite]

Paradoxical as it may sound, this is hardly surprising. Data is not just interesting; this belongs to the old tradition of thinking that the more you have of something, the better. Perhaps, this is just a primordial idea of lack – once we have a taste of something, we simply want more. Ethically questionable as espionage is, the only way to overcome it is joining some kind of twelve steps program – it’s an addiction which should not have place between democratic states.

So is this paradoxical? Maybe. Surprising? Probably not.

Based on a Dutch article from

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