As SG, I have used a very careful, very secretive NPC group that preys on lazy Covenants (esp Spring), stealing and then re-selling their resources. They use cells, and each cell uses cut-out men to do that actual stealing, short-term hires who are then killed to prevent any tracing back to the core group. The loot is scattered, moved to the other side of Europe and then sold there some time later. PC magi who try to track these thieves find a glass-onion of dead thugs run by thugs run by professionals run by shadowy figures run by criminal overlords... and (so far) have never reached to the top (who could be anyone, mage or mundane...) Very Bond-villain-esque. 8)
(back on topic...)
"Scrying" is magical - spying is a net result, and can be magical or no. If a magus climbs a Covenant's walls, tiptoes into their rooms, and reads their diaries - there's nothing illegal about that by the Code.
If someone, mage or mundane, steals the RedCap's letters while they sleep, reads them and puts them back - all without the use of any magic whatsoever - that's also not (technically) against the Code, as it hinders nothing, and is not in any way magical "scrying".
(Doesn't mean either would volunteer to get caught.)
I remember a Tytalus who was based exactly on this premise - that "magic" was not necessary to challenge and test others (and that the Code was arguably weak in that regard).
A problem occurs when magic is used indirectly - such as magically flying to the village near the covenant, and then flying away after one is done - is that critical to the act? Magical disguise while traveling, so as not to attract attention, but then dropping the disguise while entering the covenant? What of Healing magically after one is injured during such? Might be; it's definitely an open door for determined prosecution.
The bottom line (imo) is that if the spying would not have been possible - or as easy - without the use of magic, if magic added to the probability of success (even if not actually necessary in review), then it's against the Code. If the magic had no direct effect on the spying, nor was ever intended to, then it's all kosher. (Your Tribunal May Vary.)
(Also note that a Bjornaer's heart-beast is, iirc, not considered "magical", but as natural as their human form... I'm sure someone will correct/challenge this if it's not as clear-cut as I remember it.)