There has been spying for decades in F1, remember when the use to roll the cars out covered and stopped people from taking close-up photos of anything on the car? Why is the episode of spying any different from years past, is it because Farrari is was on the "short-end-of-the-stick" this year and they have FIA and Max Mosley in their pocket?
No the difference is that this time a 780 page dossier of Ferrari technical data is known to have been stolen and passed to a McLaren employee and that that employee conveyed certain information to other employees within McLaren. Criminal investigations are underway in both Italy and Britain. It is of course highly probable that 'leaks' of data occur all the time in this industry/sport but on this occasion it's been positively established. That's it, happens to be F info to McL, another day might have been other way round. Who knows?