US, Germany agree not to spy on industry or government -

In the wake of the Snowden leaks, the US has been trying to patch up its relationship with its long running ally Germany.

The German government said it was furious when it discovered US spooks were spying on its government.

Now it seems that the US has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. But this will just block government and industrial espionage, so presumably citizens are fair game.

According to IT World, the verbal commitment was given in talks with the German Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND).

According to the German government, this means that there must be no governmental or industrial espionage between the two countries. Standards for the cooperation of EU intelligence services are being hammered out. While the US has no problems trusting Germany, there are others in the EU it wants to keep an eye on.

The no spying agreement talks were part of an eight-point programme proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany found that US intelligence services comply with German law. The operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the US spies on Germans, the government said. We would have thought that meant that the US was pretty good at it.

The NSA spying revelations should lead to an acceleration of data protection agreement negotiations between the EU and the US, Merkel said in an interview on German radio.