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Countries Which Want to Rein In NSA Spying Collectively Have Bigger Economies than the U.S. and Its Spy Buddies

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Washington’s Blog
October 26, 2013

Foreign Policy reports that 21 nations have joined the push for the adoption of a United Nations General Resolution protecting internet privacy against NSA spying.

They include the following nations:  Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Norway, Paraguay, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Uruguay.

Those names don’t mean too much in a vacuum … so let’s look at the size of their economies (using International Monetary Fund figures for 2012):

COUNTRY RANK (WORLD’S BIGGEST ECONOMIES) GDP ($USD IN MILLIONS)
Germany 4th 3,429,519
France 5th 2,613,936
Brazil 7th 2,253,090
India 10th 1,841,717
Mexico 14th 1,177,398
Indonesia 16th 878,536
Switzerland 20th 631,183
Sweden 22nd 523,804
Norway 23rd 499,633
Argentina 26th 475,211
Austria 28th 394,868
South Africa 29th 384,315
Venezuela 31st 381,286
Hungary 58th 125,660
Ecuador 63rd 84,040
Cuba 70th 60,806
Uruguay 77th 49,920
Bolivia 93rd 27,232
Paraguay 95th 26,073
Liechtenstein 149th 5,113
Guyana 157th 2,828

TOTAL: $15,866,168 (remember: all figures in this post are in millions.)

In comparison, the U.S. – the world’s largest economy – has a GDP of $16,244,575 … larger than the 21 countries.

But we can’t look at this fight in a vacuum … the rest of the “Five Eyes” of allied spies – Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand – are backing the U.S.  As is Israel (and see this).

So let’s add them to the U.S. side of the ledger:

COUNTRY RANK GDP
U.S. 1st 16,244,575
United Kingdom 6th 2,476,665
Canada 11th 1,821,445
Australia 12th 1,541,700
Israel 39th 257,480
New Zealand 55th 169,831

TOTAL: $22,511,696

But China and Russia hate NSA spying so much that they have joined the  new BRICS consortium – along with India, Brazil and South Africa – which is building its own Internet infrastructure to avoid NSA spying.

So let’s add them to the total opposing NSA spying:

COUNTRY RANK GDP
21 Countries 15,866,168
China 2nd 8,221,015
Russia 8th 2,029,813

TOTAL: $26,116,996

The bottom line is that there is currently more money aligned against U.S. spying than for it.

Notes: The above analysis is admittedly over-simplified.  But it still shows the general shift of economic power away from American spy imperialism.

For example, concentration of economic power is important.  The U.S. – as the world’s largest economy – would presumably have more power than several nations whose GDP cumulatively equals the U.S.

Japan – the world’s 3rd largest economy – has been a close ally of the U.S. for some time.   Japan hasn’t weighed in on the spying issue, but if we count Japan’s GDP onto the U.S. side, it would swing the economic balance in favor of the U.S.

In addition, the U.S. has by far the world’s largest military, which – for now – gives it additional influence.

Technical note: For the couple of nations for which IMF figures were not available, we used the CIA Factbook.

This article was posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 5:24 am





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