Last year Edward Snowden revealed to the world a new type of spy, not the one who carries a silenced pistol and a briefcase with hidden pockets for all twenty-seven of his identities, but the one who has a keyboard and “access.” The new big thing is here in spying. Access.
Access to satellites, bugs, cameras, and records. It is how the new spy games are played. The first female chancellor of Germany, Angela Markell, recently found that the American NSA (National Security Agency) had access to her phone. It appears our people may have been listening in when the VIP talked.
She acted outraged, saying the Cold War was over, and America would do well to remember that. Our president Obama stated that most of those who were acting outraged in foreign governments knew full well that everybody did what we were and still are doing. Watching everyone we could, with our “access.”
Now, at least part of the president’s claims seem to have been qualified as true. Der Spiegel, a German magazine, of all things, has reported that a conversation of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton was recorded by the Germans. Although it was supposedly an accident that the particular conversation was recorded, the fact that it was an American Plane shows that the Germans, whether they meant to record that particular conversation or not, had access to the place that the two high profile actors were.
And so the new code word in the Spy Games is access. America seems to have the most of it, but other countries are not far behind.
Andrew C. Abbott