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The modern innovators of Internet human rights are not U.S. leaders or bold Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. They are stodgy bureaucrats, politicians, and lawyers in Brussels, Berlin, and Strasbourg.
The Manning and Snowden leaks do shed light on U.S. foreign policy, sometimes in an unflattering way. But they certainly do not prove that Washington acts hypocritically.
In the age of leaks, the United States will find it harder to act hypocritically and get away with it -- and so Washington may ultimately be compelled to start practicing what it preaches.
European security officials had finally gained the upper hand over privacy advocates when it came to intelligence sharing with the United States. But after revelations of the NSA's expansive European spying program, the pendulum is about to swing the other way.