French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a video screen during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as part of a virtual Plenary Session of the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

It did not come as a surprise that the US’ National Security Agency used Denmark’s military intelligence agency to spy on leading European politicians, including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The European media’s Sunday revelations once again exposed the ambitions of American massive cyber surveillance over the whole world, including its allies. In 2013 the NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the massive US surveillance program PRISM that included tapping the mobile phones of allied heads of state – including that of Merkel..

In other words, although the United States verbally considered the EU members its close allies and their leaders its personal friends, it didn’t show basic respect or trust for its European friends.

“The Big brother is watching you!” The classic quote in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four portrays a “Spy Empire” with ubiquitous monitoring – “Oceania”. Over the years, the United States has been unscrupulously engaged in monitoring the whole world. It has put the whole world under its spying network, and its play of “Oceania” on the world stage has fully exposed its hypocrisy when it cries for cyber freedom.

The United States is the largest and veritable “surveillance empire” on the planet. For a long time, the relevant US agencies have carried out large-scale, organized and undifferentiated network to monitor and attack on foreign governments, enterprises and individuals.

From the WikiLeaks documents to the Snowden incident, from the Swiss Crypto International to the current Danish incident, the Washington has remained the “Big brother” though its deeds have been repeatedly exposed.

No doubt the latest spying scandal will cast a shadow on the already cloudy EU-US ties and thwart US President Joe Biden’s efforts to repair the ties damaged during his processor Donald Trump’s term. And the European public can be hardly convinced of the US cajolery that the surveillance was doing good to both sides.

Time and time again, the US proves itself to be a threat to the world’s cybersecurity, a destroyer of cyberspace order. The wantonly monitoring has stripped the “surveillance empire” of its moral high ground to lecture others on cyber freedom and human rights.


The author is a writer with China Daily