The Bundestag has been busy the past couple of months and finally came out yesterday to say that major reform of the BND (Germany's CIA/NSA) will now occur.
The central part of this reform? A ban on the BND spying on European countries and European institutions (charities, foundations, companies, stores, etc). Both the CDU/CSU and SPD agreed on this and it'll occur in rapid fashion.
The key phrase as they all patted themselves on the back? No more spying on "friends".
One can sit back and ponder where this will go. If some French private foundation chooses to go and fund some organized terrorist group in Libya....there's not much the BND can do except monitor the Libya operations and just not look at the private French foundation. It might create a problem but everyone can say proudly.....they didn't spy on 'friends'.
Eventually, the Chinese will figure out this gimmick and ask why they can't be considered a 'friend' of Germany and get on the forbidden list of countries to spy upon. And in the end....with the exception of the US....everyone will be Germany's friend. It's kinda like being on Facebook and being 'liked'. There's a fair amount of falseness to it, but life is life. My humble guess is that we are about two steps away from some major disconnect between the BND and the US apparatus (CIA, NSA).