Most of the European Union’s anger at NSA and British surveillance has focused on them spying on diplomats and constant surveillance of government officials. That’s just the beginning though.
Germany fears that the NSA also used their widespread data interception as an opportunity to steal industrial secrets from German corporations, and indeed there’s no reason to think that the NSA would stop there since they seem to be spying on literally everything else.
It’s not just the risk of NSA contractors turning over industrial secrets to US competitors. The US government has a history of sabotaging German companies’ products, as with the Stuxnet computer worm, which targeted industrial computers sold by Siemens, a German company.
With the US eager to conduct such attacks, and Iran having done business with European corporations when the US forbade its own from doing so, officials may even have the pretext of gathering information on Iran’s capabilities as a justification for stealing EU corporate data. Whatever the reason, the risk of abuse isn’t going to sit well with European officials.