Everyone does it. Some countries have more sophisticated means than others. There was a time I'd have thought we'd be among the best because of our technological superiority. That's questionable now unless you figure that's why contractors are hired to do the actual work. The government is proving to be lousy at such things.
We are not, however, all that more able than other countries when it comes to electronic know how and the use of same. It's why there is so much space junk. All those communication satellites floating about above our heads. They aren't there merely to forecast the weather.
That's why I find it amusing how many leaders are shocked, shocked that their phone calls are being caught up in the sweeps. Just as are ours.
Then it occurred to me there might be something more behind it. Our allies have not been happy with our weak to non-existent support in matters of extreme importance to them be it monetary policy or military policy. Perhaps they'd like to punish us in a way that would give themselves the upper hand in righteous indignation.
Embarrass us. Consider who has taken us to task. Brazil, Mexico, France and Germany to name but a few. It must stop they say. It's a disgrace and an insult for us to be so engaged while behind their backs their spys are going about the very same business.
Unfortunately, I don't think this administration can be embarrassed. Now I would be. First that I had an Ed Snowden on staff in the first place, second that he got clean away after absconding with the proof he needed and the idea that a "loyal" American would feel his government was so in the wrong he'd make it public.
Then I'd be embarrassed that the leaders of those countries who had at one time been good friends seem more than willing to jab us with that knowledge. How dare we, number one; and how could we be so inept, number two.
Well, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany and the rest of you, we're pretty good at inept these days. Mock us if you will, we've had numerous cracks at you in the past.
It suggests to me they have a waning sense of or interest in our friendship these days. Friends don't publicly humiliate friends. If their actions are reflective of those bonds perhaps it's time to reassess how we treat our friends.