Filed under Columns, Opinions

Brazilian president announcement should be welcomed by all

The reverberations of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks continue to affect politics around the world.

According to The Guardian, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has indefinitely put off a meeting with President Barack Obama after allegations of the NSA spying.

The spying allegations stem from the supposed monitoring of Rousseff’s telephone and emails, according to The Guardian.

“Given the proximity of the scheduled state visit to Washington and in the absence of a timely investigation … there aren’t conditions for this trip to be made,” according to a statement from Rousseff.

Following Rousseff’s statement, the White House released a statement saying, “[Obama] has said that he understands and regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged US intelligence activities have generated in Brazil.”

If the spying allegations do prove true, then the U.S. should be ashamed of its conduct.

Spying on enemies is one thing. Spying on allies is another.

Recent spying allegations have only served to worsen the U.S. world image.

If Obama is to regain momentum in his second term, he should permanently reform the way the NSA operates.

If he fails to do so, Obama may go down as a president who only served to continue former President George W. Bush’s controversial policies.

According to Russia Times, the NSA violated its privacy policies 2,776 times over the span of a year ending in March 2012.

Although the NSA maintained that the violations were related to employee mistakes, it’s still extremely discouraging to see such a high number of violations.

As each day passes, more and more is revealed to the American public about the NSA’s controversial policies.

Another startling revelation about the NSA was its alleged online encryption hacks, according to The Guardian.

Files show “that the NSA and its U.K. counterpart Government Communication Headquarters have broadly compromised the guarantees that internet companies have given consumers to reassure them,” according to The Guardian.

These controversial policies should prompt citizens to question the actions being taken by the NSA.

Moving forward, it is clear that Obama’s success as a president is directly linked to his handling of spying controversies.

Rousseff’s decision to postpone a meeting with Obama, pending analysis of spying allegations, should be applauded.

As more and more is revealed about the inner workings of the NSA, people should continue to pay attention to the key developments.

Although some perceive him to be a traitor, it’s clear that Snowden and his bold actions have prompted a debate that won’t likely end anytime soon.

Shane Newell is a junior journalism major and the opinions editor at the Daily 49er.

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