If a government is naive enough to think other nations will not spy on it, it should not be the government
CSIS, CIA, NSA, KGB, MI6, ISI and Mossad are the world’s most elite and arguably the most well-known spy agencies. They serve to protect their respective country and special interests, both foreign and domestic. Their purpose was to keep tabs on threats that posed an immediate or eventual threat to their country’s sovereignty and dangers to its government so that they could prepare for or eliminate them.
These spy agencies are integral in thwarting many threats and have saved many lives unbeknownst to the public. Yet, they are some of the most dangerous organizations responsible for extraordinary renditions, torture, murder, espionage, kidnapping, and election meddling. They aided in overthrowing many governments, whether democratically elected, installed by the military or inherited through succession.
Yet, every time a country’s spy agency gets caught with its hands in the cookie jar, the offending government is up in arms. They summoned the perpetrating spy agency’s ambassador and publically condemned their actions, and open an investigation that typically leads to no significant changes and a whole lot of wasted taxpayer dollars.
Of course, election meddling is terrible, whether domestic or foreign; seeking to overthrow governments and spying is morally wrong, yet no government will ever exit the business. So why is that? The answer is power and money.
Once a politician gets a taste of power, it’s hard to relinquish it, Ei. Trump, Netanyahu, Berlusconi and Putin. For any politician to remain in power, they need big donors. And the donors with the deepest pockets come from corporation executives, which many rely on or receive big government contracts. And some of the most lucrative contracts awarded by the government are those to military and defence contractors. It’s easy to follow the money.
So what does this all mean to everyday citizens? Simply put, governments see spying as a necessary evil—another tool in their toolbox to keep their respective countries safe. For the most part, they are correct, but the government is also highly disingenuous when they address the public regarding why their spy agencies even exist.
If governments were to say something like every country has spy agencies, the good ones don’t get caught the majority of the time. We spy on our friends, enemies, neighbours and allies; it’s just the nature of the business. People would be accepting of their honesty. Because no country has clean hands, governments should stop acting as if they are shocked that a country spied on them or meddled in their personal affairs.
The simplest way to fix the spying situation is for every country to disband their spying divisions and stop doing business with governments and entities that do them harm. And if that happened, no country would do business with anyone outside their borders and economies would collapse.
So while governments publically put on an angry face to the public, they are outraged they were hacked, spied up or had their elections meddled in; their very own spy agencies are doing many of the same things, if not worse.