Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

WASHINGTON – Europeans are beginning to express increasing alarm over the Obama administration and the extent of electronic snooping it has been conducting on people around the world, including Americans, and are proposing heavy penalties on U.S. internet networks if they’re caught, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

“Is Barack Obama a friend?” asks one commentary in the highly regarded German magazine Der Spiegel.

“Revelations about his government’s vast spying program call the assumption into doubt,” it said. “The European Union must protect the continent from America’s reach for omnipotence.”

This feeling was further underscored on the occasion of President Barack Obama’s recent appearance in Berlin. The people who turned out for his speech were just a fraction of those who saw the one the president gave in Berlin years ago.

Der Spiegel referred to Obama as the “head of the largest and most all-encompassing surveillance system ever invented.”

“If Barack Obama is our friend,” the editorial said, “then we really don’t need to be terribly worried about our enemies.”

From the German perspective, U.S. worldwide surveillance appears to be acceptable to the American people. However, the European and especially the German perspective is that “a monitored human being is not a free human being,” Der Spiegel said. “And every state that systematically contravenes human rights, even in the alleged service of security, is acting criminally.”

Referring to the instances of drone attacks, setting up the prison camp at Guantanamo and the harsh interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib that included waterboarding by CIA there and in rendition prisons it set up at various locations around the world, it said the world perspective on the U.S. is changing.

“A regime is ruling in the United States today that acts in totalitarian ways when it comes to its claim to total control,” it said. “Soft totalitarianism is still totalitarianism.”

Now that they’re aware of worldwide surveillance by the NSA, Europeans appear to be asking whether the Obama administration will respect their rights. The rampant surveillance of Americans raises concerns, especially among Germans.

There is talk about Europe setting up its own system of networks to limit U.S. surveillance of Europeans, even though the cost would be great.

“It would require subsidies and a vision as big as the moon landing,” according to Frank Schirrmacher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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