It should come as no surprise that the U.S. has been accused of spying on other nations. Seeking classified information by secret means is a practice that has taken place for thousands of years. It simply has been elevated to new levels via technological advancements.

But things change when the spying is directed at close allies. Allegiances can be stretched and potentially broken when our global neighbors perceive mistrust.

We have entered a new frontier. We as citizens need to be mindful of our Constitution, especially the 4th Amendment. If heads of foreign governments can have their personal conversations tapped, what about us as U.S. citizens? Our rights have been and will continue to be whittled away in the name of national security. Our allies must be feeling the same way these days.

My parents tried to instill in me the importance of neighbors and the necessity of keeping peace in the neighborhood. That wisdom applies even when the neighbors live across an ocean. We still need the allegiances that global neighbors can provide, so we cannot let technology race ahead of our good intentions.

If we were to ask of certain countries today, paraphrasing Mr. Rogers, "won't you be my neighbor?," I am afraid many countries would say no.

Craig Garrett