#Compliance: NSA data gathering results in foreign relations fallout

The controversy surrounding U.S.-based online surveillance continues, as more revelations concerning NSA data-gathering activities come to light.

Social media is a great tool for reaching out to and connecting with like-minded professionals in the compliance space. However, between the speed of business and healthy doses of incoming work, it's tough to babysit a Facebook profile or a Google Plus stream, and you always feel like you miss the best tweets. We get that. That's why we're mining our list of GRC literati for their nuggets of insight, wisdom and the occasional chuckle.

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In the months since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked the scope of the NSA's data gathering, the U.S. government has come under fire for what many say are illegal spying activities. Snowden's revelations continue to influence foreign and domestic relations, and this week the fallout escalated in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed she received information that U.S. intelligence was monitoring her cell phone activities, a charge the White House has denied. U.S. officials also responded to allegations surrounding the NSA's telecommunications data-collection activities in both Italy and France. And on Oct. 23, the European Parliament voted to suspend a data-sharing agreement with the U.S. as a result of the NSA controversy.

Many took to Twitter to voice criticism of the NSA's data-gathering activities, and to question the logic of spying on countries that are considered U.S. allies.

The European Parliament's decision to suspend its Terrorist Finance Tracking Program agreement with the U.S. was reportedly a direct result of the NSA's revelations on data collection. Under the agreement, U.S. authorities were granted access to bank data for terror-related investigations. On social media, some said the European Parliament's move was a step in the right direction to make the U.S. see the error in its ways:

U.S. officials have claimed since the controversy began that the NSA's data-gathering activities were necessary for anti-terrorism efforts. When examining the response on Twitter, however, it is difficult to find any support for the NSA and what many deem illegal spying.

Of course, along with the more serious calls for transparency regarding the NSA's surveillance activities, some could not resist more snarky responses to the continuing controversy. 

What do you think? Has the U.S. government overstepped its surveillance bounds to protect its interests, or are you among those that think the NSA's data-collection programs are necessary to anti-terrorism efforts? Voice your opinions in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Ben Cole, site editor. For IT compliance news and updates throughout the week, follow us on Twitter @ITCompliance.

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