The German government decided to put an end to the tacit agreement, established in 1945, through which it pledged to abstain from monitoring the espionnage activities on its soil of the British, French and U.S. intelligence agents.

This decision comes as a result of two major scandals: first, the revelations last year of NSA’s tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, then the discovery this week of a double agent planted in Germany’s intelligence service, who transmitted more than 300 confidential documents to the CIA (including internal documents of the Parliamentary Committee dealing with the NSA wiretappings).

Calling into question the espionage agreement between Washington and Berlin poses very serious problems for the United States which has used German soil to launch many of its operations. CIA director John Brennan is expected to report, in the next few days, on the consequences of this decision to the members of Congress concerned.

However, this does not mean that Germany will become an independent state vis-à-vis Washington: at the end of the Allied occupation, Berlin conceded a treaty allowing Washington to use its military bases in Germany at will without the need to refer to the host country.