Up until this week....Germany's secret agents watching foreign agents operate in Germany....had a certain list of countries that they didn't trust, and a certain list that they did trust. That changed. They now operate with a "360-degree view"....meaning no single country is given a free-pass to operate and conduct spying operations in Germany.
The intention? Well....the US and Britain are both on the bad-boy list, and the CIA/NSA guys in Germany can now expect to have "Huns und Franz" on their tail as they drive around the German countryside.
How many spies are in Germany? Well....no one really says much on that. You see....there are economic spies, energy sector spies, news media spies, industrial spies, government spies, beer spies, bank spies, technology spies, spies watching spies, investment spies, scientific development spies, political spies, etc.
If you ever make a trip out to Berlin....one of the fifty-odd things that you might come across is the CDU headquarters in central Berlin (the plexiglass building). If you walk around the block....there's the North Korean embassy. It's an odd place from where most countries operate embassy operations in town (near the Bundestag or on the east side of town). Use of the embassy to spy on CDU internal politics? Well....I might wonder about that.
Chinese spies within the technology sector? A number of smart Chinese German-university graduates have stayed and work on various projects in the private technology sector. One might wonder about their relationships and how they shift discoveries back to China.
British spies within the banking sector of Germany? It's a pretty good chance that dozens exist. The data taken? Well....it gets shifted around and various entities in Britain benefit in some fashion.
Russian spies in the energy sector? It wouldn't take much to place a dozen spies at the disposal of the Russian Gazprom folks, watch for favorable trends, and ensure that profits stay high for the Russian natural gas giant.
US spies sitting around and trying to get Merkel's calendar for August? Well....yeah, there might be some stupid idiots wasting time and resources to get a stupid Merkel calendar with almost zero value. Twenty thousand Euro here and there....for worthless information? Well....yeah....we aren't known for brilliant strategies or handling money well.
This 360-degree view business? This is where it leads. You can't do this type of operation with the current crew of German internal spy-watch team. So, you will have to recruit....hire....and find more than a thousand new folks to be spy-watchers. Overnight? Zero potential. It'll take a minimum of a year to hire enough folks to do this type of work, and figure training will consume another year. So any real results from this....will be probably two years from now.
Where do you find these new spy recruits? You basically put an ad in a couple of national newspapers....looking for "audit" people, but give a wide range for the job description....to include travel....long hours....opportunities for advancement. Somewhere in the interview process, they will spring it on you.....you will be this German version of James Bond....watching spies within Germany. You don't really care about the title or James Bond thing....you simply ask about benefits, pay and travel allowance.
At some point four years from now....some German political committee will wake up....realize that twenty-five of their spy-watcher crewmembers are working for France, China, Russia, Italy and the US. So they will talk of a new crew.....spy-watchers of the spy-watchers.
Am I cynical of this whole thing? Yeah....it's like a bunch of teenage kids who just woke and realized that the teachers at the school have a corrupt grading system, and they just can't believe it....and they want to fix it immediately. The kids wake up months later to find solution simply lead onto more corrupt grades.