Ben flagged today that the Germans have been caught out spying on friends and allies. What makes this a story is the way the Germans responded more than a year ago when Snowden’s leaks revealed that the NSA was spying on Angela Merkel: with shock and awe.

Stepping back a bit from the substance of NSA’s and the German spy service’s activities, Snowden’s leaks have prompted a larger trend that is relevant to international law formation. As a result of the leaks, states have started saying much more than they historically have about spying and how they think it relates to international law. States historically were quite content to keep their views to themselves, but the Snowden leaks have evinced more explicit statements about their views of the relationship between international law and, in particular, foreign surveillance.

Ashley S. Deeks, The Increasing State Practice and Opinio Juris on Spying, Lawfare (May 6, 2015).