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Europe Anger at U.S. Spying Ignores Fact Everyone Does It

European anger at reports that the U.S. has conducted surveillance of allies’ telephone calls and e-mails glosses over a basic truth, former intelligence officials say: everyone does it.

“All governments collect information on nearly all governments,” said John McLaughlin, a former acting director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, said in a phone interview. “The posture of most governments is, ‘We want to collect as much info as we can, so we can be as fluent as we can when we make decisions.’ It’s just what governments do.”