National surveillance: European Union Summit tells U.S. to change policy
On Friday in Brussels, the United States European Allies made it clear that they plan to demand serious changes to U.S. surveillance of foreign leaders – especially of its allies.
"We're looking for a base of cooperation of our services that is transparent and that conforms to the character of allies," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Leaders gathered at a European Union Summit on Friday, and sources say that they plan to call for a U.S. “Code of Good Conduct” following allegations this week that NSA spying included Heads of State – even listening in on mobile phone calls made by Merkel herself.
But Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio defended the NSA, dismissing the protests as public posturing by the allies.
"None of them are truly shocked by any of this ...Everybody spies on everybody, that's just a fact," he said.
Still, State Department officials acknowledge the damage from the revelations.
"It has created significant challenges in our relationships with some of our partners, and has been, of course, a public distraction," said State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
But the Obama Administration continues to insist that the U.S. is only doing what other countries do in order to protect its citizens.
In response to this, human rights activist San Suu Kyu said in a television interview from London that countries often use that kind of reasoning to justify excessive surveillance:
"All those who engage in such activities always say they are doing it for a higher purpose."