A German government-sanctioned special investigation has exposed a "clear breach" of intelligence-sharing agreements—including illegal surveillance of European authorities—between the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its German counterpart, known as the BND.
Paranoia corrupts. Absolute paranoia corrupts absolutely.
Straight up extortion operations. Seeking to catch out government officials committing crimes for which they can be blackmailed into forced cooperation with the US government as it seeks to force the European Union into Vassal state status.
It has already locked in Canada and is tightening the screws on Australia as Australia tries to wiggle out from down under. The EU is now actively resisting US hegemony status, as are many countries around the globe, especially in South America.
A lot of countries are now coming together to fend off the avaricious and destructive US government in it's current corrupted state.
Not even crimes much of the time - embarrassing indiscretions will do . Or confidential medical information . The spying on commercial firms is straight-out industrial espionage , done by the state security organs for the benefit of the corporations who own America, Inc . The US corporations notorious refusal to invest in R&D is self-explanatory. Why spend money on that when they can steal it from others ? Better yet , have it stolen FOR you gratis and risk-free .