NSA and News of the World Phone Tapping

Is it just me?  We have two parallel international stories running at the moment that are linked.

  • NSA spying on world leaders
  • News of the World spying on celebrities

In one, the government says sorry, but it is how the world works.  Can we now move on please.

In the other case, the UK Court is saying NOTW breached privacy by eavesdropping on phone calls, and the people responsible should be punished.

So the US government believe is OK for governments to monitor a citizen’s phone calls but the UK  government believes it is not OK for newspapers.  What am I missing?

What would be the reaction if NOTW found some interesting political information and passed it on to the NSA?  Would that be considered OK?  What if the NSA eavesdropping of phone calls turned up a scandalous situation.  They decide to pass it to NOTW?  Would that be OK?

In my humble opinion, there is no justification for phone tapping unless a legal authority gets permission from an independent court to do so.  The justification should relate to criminal activity, not selling newspapers or gaining a political advantage.