Sorry I’ve been AWOL. I’ve been on a trip to DC.
Among the things I did was attend a presentation from Konstantin von Notz, one of the Bundestag members who is investigating Germany’s SIGINT spying in the wake of the Snowden leaks.
He made a comment that was really telling. They asked the BND (their NSA) to reveal how many of the selectors being targeted are terrorist targets. It’s less than 10% of the selectors.
I’m not (too) surprised by the number. But it’s a telling detail. For all the fear-mongering about how the government needs dragnets to combat terrorism, the bulk of what the Germans, at least, are doing is spying to serve the self-interest of their country.