As more and more information about the NSA’s global surveillance capabilities emerges through leaks of material obtained by Edward Snowden, the US authorities have been playing the terrorist card heavily.
That is, they concede that they have been spying on pretty much everyone, but claim that it was only to fight terrorism, and thus to save lives. In particular, the NSA insists it is not spying on anyone for the purposes of industrial espionage — here’s what it wrote in an email to the Washington Post on the subject just a couple of weeks ago:
“The Department of Defense does engage” in computer network exploitation, according to an e-mailed statement from an NSA spokesman, whose agency is part of the Defense Department. “The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”