A british intelligence agency spy affair incriminates the G8 summit in northern ireland. The british intelligence service GCHQ is said to have spied on delegations from allied countries such as south africa and turkey in 2009 in the course of the G20 summit in london, the guardian reported. He bristles at datasets from former u.S. Intelligence official edward snowden.
The government communications headquarters (GCHQ) is the british counterpart to the american intelligence agency NSA. It is possible that the guardian the material was held back in enniskillen until the day of the summit start. Downing street said on monday that it does not comment on security issues as a matter of principle.
Until tuesday, the heads of state and government of the leading industrialized countries and russia (G8) will meet again under the british presidency at lough erne in northern ireland.
London is now in a defensive position in the snowden revelations affair. In recent weeks, both prime minister cameron and secretary of state william hague have been extremely tight-lipped about accusations that the british secret service had obtained information about british citizens from the friendly u.S. Service nsa, thereby circumventing applicable laws. Both sides said that everything was within the law and that they could not comment on the details.
According to the report, in 2009, the british monitored the computers of G20 participants and intercepted telephone calls. Some delegations were also tricked into using internet cafes that had been specially set up by the secret service. In this way, it was possible to monitor e-mail traffic and capture passwords. "New combined capabilities against blackberry delivered G20 briefings in advance to cabinet members. (…) diplomatic targets from all nations use smartphones. This was exploited at the G20 meeting last year.", according to a document published by the guardian was able to view.
In another document, the british pat themselves on the back after the action: "it has proved useful to note which national delegation was active in the period before, during and after the summit. All in all, a very successful weekend with the phone action against delegations."
Around 45 analysts are said to have been informed around the clock about who was talking to whom on the phone. Among other things, they are said to have gained access to the mobile blackberry phones of delegation members for this purpose and for monitoring e-mails. A power-point presentation showed how this works. At the end of the operation, according to "guardian" internal review of the operation praised its success. Among others, the then prime minister gordon brown is said to have known about the meeting.
The information gathered in this way had been passed on immediately to the british delegation, including to minister browns. This was apparently done to gain an advantage in knowledge for the negotiations.
British spies seem to have been particularly targeting turkey. Finance minister mehmet simsek was monitored and his delegation was still being monitored during a finance ministers' meeting in september 2009 to find out if turkey was committed to the targets agreed at the april summit.
The surveillance was carried out by the GCHQ. Last week, ex-US intelligence officer edward snowden reported extensive surveillance of the internet, primarily by the NSA wiretap service. The guardian had worked exclusively with him.
In berlin, deputy government spokesman georg streiter said he had no information about the proceedings. He said he was trying "maybe to get some", but did not know whether he would be able to pass them on. When asked about the possible impact on the upcoming G8 meeting in ireland, streiter said, "i didn't know what it would mean for the G8 summit."