Britain snooped on G20 summit delegates in 2009: Report

The latest expose on snooping comes just hours ahead of a G8 summit that is due in North Ireland today.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2013, 16:48 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

London: Even though the dust hasn’t settled over the recent expose of America’s NSA surveillance programmes, another stirring revelation came to the fore on Monday about the United Kingdom snooping upon the foreign delegates in G8 summit meetings in 2009.

According to a report by the British newspaper The Guardian, British intelligence agencies monitored the computers used by the foreign politicians and officials and also intercepted their phone calls and emails during two meetings in the G20 Summit 2009.

“Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic,” adds the report.

Another revelation points to American security agency NSA eavesdropping on the Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev`s phone calls.

The latest expose on snooping comes just hours ahead of a G8 summit that is due in North Ireland today. The interesting fact to note is that all nations who would be attending the summit today, had also attended the G20 summit in 2009.

The motive for the spying during the high level international finance meetings in G20 summit seems to be for “mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings”, says the report.

It has also revealed the names of the foreign targets that include South Africa and Turkey.

The report says that The Guardian’s expose is based on top secret documents that reveal how "ground-breaking intelligence capabilities" were used by GCHQ to snoop upon the officials. The documents have been made available by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

US`s National Security Agency also attempted to eavesdrop on the Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow, according to the documents.
The documents entail details of the snooping procedure that included tracing their BlackBerrys to keep track of all the calls and emails exchanged, using 45 analysts to keep an eye on who was calling whom at the summit, especially targeting the Turkish foreign minister Mehmet Simsek and 15 other members of his party.

The latest exposure raises serious questions on the British intelligence agencies GCHQ and its American counterpart National Security Agency, whose surveillance programmes have been made public by its own contractor Edward Snowden.