Politics

Edward Snowden Says UK Government Spied on G20 Summit Officials

| by Michael Allen
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National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has dropped another bombshell — this time about the U.K. government.

Snowden showed documents to The Guardian that detailed how the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK's government's security agency, spied on diplomats and foreign officials during the G20 summit in 2009.

Ironically, the G20 summit for 2013 begins on Monday.

“[Foreign officials] had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts” and “some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic,” reports The Guardian.

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Documents presented by Snowden to The Guardian reveal that the U.K. government was eavesdropping on foreign officials — especially Turkey and South Africa — to get an upper hand in negotiations.

According to Snowden, the U.K. government set up internet cafes with monitoring software,
hacked into delegates’ BlackBerrys and knew who was phoning who at the summit 24 hours a day.

The NSA also tried to eavesdrop on then-Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow, when he was at the G20 summit in 2009.

The Guardian added: “While it has been widely known the two countries spy on each other, it is rare for either to be caught in the act; the latest disclosures will also be deeply embarrassing for the White House as Obama prepares to meet Vladimir Putin, who succeeded Medvedev as president, in the margins of the G8 summit this week.”

Source: The Guardian