Surveillance Creates Rift Between U.S. and Europe

Every nation does it when it comes to spying, but that only breeds distrust.

A computer workstation bears the National Security Agency (NSA) logo inside the Threat Operations Center inside the Washington suburb of Fort Meade, Md., on Jan. 25, 2006.
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The next step for the U.S. to resolve differences with other nations, including France and Germany, could involve Internet governance rules, including how transparent is the U.S. willing to be and what restrictions American agencies willing to accept, said James Lewis, a cybersecurity analyst at CSIS.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff addressed the U.N. General Assembly in September criticizing the NSA and calling for the U.N. to establish legal regulations that would prevent abuses on the Internet, including international surveillance and violations of privacy. Documents leaked by Snowden revealed that the agency had spied on Rousseff's personal telephone calls and emails, and those of her aides.

Snowden's disclosures should not be underestimated because they can damage the influence of the U.S. government and its tech companies, Lewis said during the event at the think tank.

"There are some things we can do to rebuild the damage and rebuild trust. We might want to think about what are the norms," Lewis said. "When the Europeans think about this, when the South Americans think about this... they think of this as an issue of Internet governance. That's where you will see the debate over Snowden come to a head in the next couple of years."

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