Überwachung und die amerikanische Freiheit

CAMBRIDGE – Seit Edward J. Snowden enthüllt hat, dass der US-Geheimdienst NSA kontinuierlich große Datenmengen erhebt, die bei der elektronischen Kommunikation von US-Amerikanern und Bürgern anderer Länder generiert werden, ist seiner persönlichen Situation viel Aufmerksamkeit zuteilgeworden. Doch schon bevor Russland ihm vorübergehend Asyl gewährt hat, war die wichtigere Frage, wie es um die amerikanischen Bürgerrechte bestellt ist. Haben sich die USA der Heuchelei schuldig gemacht, wie es ihnen von Russland, China und anderen vorgeworfen wird?

Um diese Frage zu beantworten, ist es wichtig, zwischen zwei Aspekten zu unterscheiden, die in der öffentlichen Debatte verschmolzen sind: elektronische Spionage gegen ausländische Einrichtungen und die innerstaatliche Überwachung einer Regierung der eigenen Bevölkerung.

Cyber-Spionage hatte sich noch vor den Enthüllungen Snowdens zu einem wesentlichen Streitpunkt in den US-chinesischen Beziehungen entwickelt. Bei einem betont ungezwungenen Treffen im Juni zwischen den Präsidenten Obama und Xi Jinping, das in den USA als „shirt-sleeves summit“, als „Gipfeltreffen in Hemdsärmeln“ bezeichnet wird, wurde der strittige Punkt erörtert und beide Regierungen einigten sich auf die Einrichtung einer gemeinsamen Arbeitsgruppe, die sich des Themas annehmen soll.

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