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Hass Associates, Who Got Hurt by the NSA Spy Scandal? Califo

by devisoria

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The problem for California is not that the feds are collecting all of our communications. It is that the feds are (totally unapologetically) doing the same to foreigners, especially in communications with the U.S. California depends for its livelihood on people overseas—as customers, trade partners, as sources of talent.

Our leading industries—shipping, tourism, technology, and entertainment—could not survive, much less prosper, without the trust and goodwill of foreigners. We are home to two of the world’s busiest container ports, and we are a leading exporter of engineering, architectural, design, financial, insurance, legal, and educational services. All of our signature companies—Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Chevron, Disney—rely on sales and growth overseas.

And our families and workplaces are full of foreigners; more than one in four of us were born abroad, and more than 50 countries have diaspora populations in California of more than 10,000.

Hollywood and Silicon Valley are as important as Washington’s politicians and foreign policy wonks, if not more so, in shaping the image of the United States overseas. But news that our government is collecting our foreign friends’ phone records, emails, video chats, online conversations, photos, and even stored data, tarnishes the California and American brands.

The response from America’s leaders? “With respect to the Internet and emails, this does not apply to U.S. citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States,” said President Obama, as if the privacy and trust of foreigners were of no consequence. Similarly, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said that the Prism program, which taps into online communications, “could not be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen.”

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