So the NSA has spied on Americans.
… if you are one of the approximately 6.8 billion people who do not have the ‘privilege’ of being taxed worldwide by the USA (i.e. you are not a US national), the fact the NSA has made a mockery of the US constitution is of purely academic interest.
I just watched a rather good Guardian presentation on the NSA revelations. As I watched outraged talking head after outraged talking head decrying what the US has done, and generally agreeing with them I might add, I was also struck by the fact some gave me the impression that the fact the NSA (and GCHQ) have actually intentionally damaged the infrastructure of the internet itself was not as important as the fact they had spied on Americans.
No, it really is not the main issue at all, not by a long shot.
The fact the intelligence agencies of Germany, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and (particularly) the UK were complicit with the NSA making us all less safe by subverting the encryption upon which our economies increasingly depend (not to mention our right to privacy), well that is a vastly bigger issue. And it is why the Snowden revelations are of global interest, not just American interest.
The First World’s security states, like the foam flecked wild horses pulling the NSA’s chariot, are out of control and that makes this a vastly bigger issue than the breaking of one country’s constitutional limitations.
If the NSA had improbably somehow managed to only spy on foreigners and not a single American, whilst introducing backdoors and flawed encryption standards world wide, it would not make this any less dire.