Nations have been spying on each other for as long as they have existed. The flap over spying on leaders in other countries is being played as something new when it’s been going on for a long time.

There is one difference in this period of spying. The technological advances have been a boon to security and intelligence agencies. The sophisticated equipment available today advances spying to a high level.

A number of countries, especially in Europe, expressed outrage that the United States had been listening in to their leaders’ communications. President Barack Obama said that was news to him. He didn’t know it was going on — that was the White House response.

The past week it was revealed that European nations shared spy data with the United States. Phone records that had been collected were given to us as a means to protect Allied troops in war zones. As The Wall Street Journal reported, this revelation suggests a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance, working sometimes with our National Security Agency. In other words, we weren’t the only “bad guys” in these spying operations.

It is not unusual for intelligence agencies in several countries to cooperate in sharing data. They also can be competitors in spying operations. When matters are such that there is a common interest, there is cooperation. That’s nothing new. It also has been revealed that our allies often spy on us. Again, that’s not something new.

It’s a “I spy, you spy, everybody spies” world.