Folks in Germany are always very anxious about social etiquette and behaving correctly in public.
The „Knigge,“ for instance, is a famous book about social rules and how one should behave in practically all situations. When it comes to seating arrangements at table, for instance:
1. Couples that aren’t married always sit together.
2. Married couples normally don’t sit abreast.
3. Not until the homemaker wants to sit on the table the guests are allowed to sit, too.
4. The dish rests on the table until the last guest has eaten his meal.
Now, in the wake of all this undue excitement going on about the Obama administration’s benevolent “Merkelphone” eavesdropping program, Germany has decided to take the initiative when it comes to etiquette in certain private (or private eye) matters, too. During a two-day summit in Brussels, the Germans have suggested the introduction of an internationally recognized Espionage Etiquette Manual to be followed geflissentlich (studiously) by all superpowers on earth.
When it comes to spying on close nations and/or friends, for instance, the new “Spy Knigge” points out, among other things, that:
1. Bugging cell phones used by heads of state is still allowed, but strictly for PRIVATE information gathering purposes only.
2. No fancy hi-tech spy stuff should ever be used against those using technology they are clearly clueless about.
3. State secrets are to be assumed to be secret for a good reason and are to be left secret and in the state said state secreted them in. But if they absolutely positively must be stolen, never ever let anybody out there find out about it. For crying out loud.
Bis Ende des Jahres wollen Frankreich und Deutschland bilaterale Gespräche mit den USA führen und ein “gemeinsames Verständnis für einen Kooperationsrahmen” erarbeiten.