What a difference a year makes.
Last September, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff captured the world’s mood when she opened the U.N. General Assembly with a withering rebuke of America’s massive electronic surveillance program.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama, fresh from ordering up airstrikes against Islamic extremists in Syria, will strike a different tone, calling on the international community to ramp up surveillance of legions of foreign jihadists fighting alongside the self-styled Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
And he is likely to find a receptive audience.
The U.N. Security Council is poised to endorse a U.S.-drafted resolution that would require governments to grant law enforcement authorities wider scope to monitor and suppress the travel and other activities of suspected local jihadists.
European powers such as Belgium, Britain, France, and Germany are updating their laws and policies to strengthen government monitoring authority and, if necessary, to prevent anyone suspected of pursuing military glory in battlefields from Somalia to the Middle East from traveling. From the White House Tuesday, Obama drove home the message, saying that the United States and 40 allies aim “to cut off ISIL’s financing; to counter its hateful ideology; and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region.” (The Islamic State is also known as ISIL and ISIS.)