It is becoming clear that there is virtually nowhere off limits to the prying eyes of the National Security Agency.
Currently under fire from the leaders of several ally nations upset about the practice of spying on them and their citizens, one recent report by an Italian news magazine indicates that even the Pope is not immune to the NSA’s intrusion.
According to the report in Panorama, the federal agency used devices to monitor inbound and outbound phone calls during the conclave established to name a new pope earlier this year.
Furthermore, the magazine alleges, outgoing Pope Benedict XVI was also likely monitored during the final period of his papacy.
“It is feared that the great American ear continued to tap prelates’ conversations up to the eve of the conclave,” the magazine reports.
Numerous reports of such monitoring by the NSA have surfaced since Edward Snowden’s notorious leak of classified government documents. Described as both a traitor and a hero, Snowden is now living as a fugitive in Russia for revealing information he gained while working as an intelligence operative.
While intelligence-gathering is an important aspect of our ongoing war against terrorism, documentation along with continuous allegations indicates that the U.S. government has substantially overreached in spying on citizens from all walks of life.
There is an unquestionably fine line between spying on legitimate targets and invading the privacy of law-abiding citizens. When the U.S. government intercepts communications from those tasked with selecting the next pope, though, it is obvious that this line has been obliterated.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) (Creative Commons)