It's been decided here in Germany....that a commission of eight folks....appointed by the Bundestag....will survey and research the entire NSA affair. Top to bottom.
To be fair about this....the SPD and Greens are the ones who want the commission. They'd like to have several CDU characters (including Merkel) to testify in front of the committee (who-knew-what gimmick). They want this Snowden guy as well....but the CDU has said that it won't grant him immunity and that hinders the idea bringing him into Berlin. The best that folks think is that Snowden will get a list of twenty-odd questions, and he will answer to some degree. The full-up answer? Well.....I doubt it. Snowden has years of material and won't dare waste telling everything to the German Bundestag commission. Yeah, that kinda makes the whole thing a joke because of these artificial limits.
The head of this commission? Well....it's the CDU's guy on the intelligence committee.....Clemens Binninger. He's not exactly a household name and I doubt if more than three-percent of the German population would recognize the guy or know his reputation. The general gut feeling? He's awful direct....even to his own fellow CDU members, and he's as about level-headed as they come....when you talk about German political figures.
The best scenario for this whole game is simple. Binninger leads the commission onto a six-month period of information collection. They sit for sixty days and try to analyze what everything means. A month or two will be wasted on writing some four volume series with 2,000-odd pages.
What it will say in the end is that there weren't many laws in effect that would have stopped this. There weren't many German techno geeks standing there to prevent this. There really wasn't that much five-star data of extreme value that the NSA guys got. The amount of freedom that the NSA enjoyed in Berlin and the American embassy was the fault of Germany itself. Snowden apparently won't lay out the vast nature of what he has. And the NSA probably knows more about German culture, German food recipes, German hotel ratings, German Bundestag gossip, and German soccer.....than they know about Islamic radicals in Germany or Europe itself.
All of this is important....because the SPD really hopes the kid sex picture episode would just dissolve away. Yeah, it helps to focus reporters on other stuff, and keep drifting back on why serious charges just won't be drawn against their guy.
So, circle your calendar....probably for some release date around January of 2015, and prepare for big hype over the terrible NSA folks.
Oh, and I should add....those terrible NSA guys work for the same government that you might need to push Putin into a corner about this Ukraine stuff. If the NSA guys could just focus on bad guys.....like those KGB guys or the Islamic dimwits....we'd all be happy and thrilled at their hard work. But things just don't work that way.