British intelligence spied on G20 leaders in 2009: Snowden

It seems Big Brother has a sibling and it even spied on him during the G20 summit in London back in 2009. This summarizes the report published by The Guardian based on leaked documents from the former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

The world leaders who joined G20 meetings in London four years ago, including U.S. President Barack Obama, had their phone lines allegedly monitored and their computers tapped by the British government to give the latter some form of advantage during negotiations.

According to the article published Monday, some of the delegates unknowingly used Internet cafes that were purportedly setup by the British intelligence to intercept valuable information.

The top secret documents that were handed over by Snowden to The Guardian revealed that the espionage activities happened during the G20 meetings in 2009, particularly in April and September.

The move of British intelligence agencies were said to have the blessings of the British government then under the helm of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The Guardian exposed that the spying included the use of key-logging and email interception, monitoring of BlackBerry devices of delegates, and a round-the-clock analysis of phone calls. The British intelligence had allegedly eavesdropped phone calls of Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev and Turkey's finance minister and his party.

The leaked documents also revealed that UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), MI6 and other intelligence entities spearheaded the setup of Internet cafes for bugging purposes.

"Were able to extract key logging info, providing creds for delegates, meaning we have sustained intelligence options against them even after conference has finished," The Guardian quoted a material they have reviewed.

The same document showed that British intelligence also targeted the delegates from South Africa.

The leaked documents contained information that the spying tools were improved for the September 2009 G20 meeting.

"For the first time, analysts had a live picture of who was talking to who that updated constantly and automatically," according to an internal review," the classified documents seen by The Guardian revealed. "It proved useful to note which nation delegation was active during the moments before, during and after the summit. All in all, a very successful weekend with the delegation telephony plot." 

A meeting of the G8 Nations kicked off Monday June 17 in Britain as headlines about the British intelligence activities were published in major broadsheets and Websites.

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