A couple of interesting developments in Europe today, where there seems to be quite a bit more adverse political reaction to U.S. surveillance revelations than there has been here, for reasons that are pretty obvious.France is calling for a two-week delay in the scheduled start of U.S.-European Union trade talks in Washington. Not clear whether everyone else is going to agree to that, but it’s a shot across the U.S. bow. It should be noted that this particular reaction is to the der Spiegel report over the weekend that the NSA conducted extensive electronic surveillance of EU offices in New York and Washington, but it’s all of a piece with the broader NSA revelations.
Separately, Wednesday, Germany’s interior minister cautioned that if you’re worried about U.S. electronic snooping, you would do well to avoid using U.S. internet companies, like Facebook and Google.
What’s interesting is that both of these developments suggest potential economic costs for the U.S. as a result of the breadth and depth of the NSA programs. Probably not enough economic costs collectively to really sting yet. But in the absence of much adverse political reaction in the U.S., this is a separate track to monitor.