Some members of Congress are upset that other countries around the world are taking action to protect their citizens from the U.S. spy machine. But rather than doing something within their own power to address the economic backlash from U.S. policies by, say, changing the policy, these members of Congress are blaming others and threatening to bully them. According to an AP report:
Germany has asked European Union officials to consider restrictions that would prevent U.S. companies from processing commercial and personal data from customers in Europe. That could affect the flow of information and hurt U.S. businesses such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.
A bipartisan group of House members — 12 Democrats and six Republicans — has sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, insisting that nations abandon such efforts as a condition of pending trade pacts. (emphasis added)
Maybe reducing the ability of Americans to do business with foreigners is the only way to keep terrible harm from coming to U.S. companies impacted by this scandal. I’m skeptical, so let’s ask them:
Lawmakers sent the letter a week after a coalition of businesses including Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft penned its own, asking Obama to curb the surveillance programs.
Silicon Valley has been fighting in the courts and in Congress for changes that would allow them to disclose more information about the secret government orders they receive. Several companies are introducing more encryption technology to shield their users’ data from government spies and other prying eyes. (emphasis added)
Since option B solves the problem and increases liberty, let’s try that one first, please.
(I would be remiss not to point out the House Intelligence Committee’s strident condemnation just last year of Huawei, and their subsequent recommendation that U.S. companies avoid doing business with the Chinese telecom giant to ward off vague dangers of cyber espionage.)