Just before the 2013 G-8 summit got underway in Northern Ireland Monday, the U.K. Guardian reported that the British equivalent of the National Security Agency spied on foreign officials during the 2009 G-20 summit in London.
Edward Snowden, the same man behind the recent leaks regarding the NSA’s collecting of data from Americans in order to head off potential terrorist attacks, reportedly showed documents to The Guardian revealing that the Government Communications Headquarters — akin to the U.S.’s NSA — spied on delegates’ computers through Internet cafes, monitored security on delegates’ Blackberrys to track emails and phone calls, and supplied analysts with a live summary of phone calls at the event.
The documents, impossible to verify at this point, also reportedly reveal that American officials spied on then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and that the NSA tried to eavesdrop on Mr. Medvedev’s phone calls.
“The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organization, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and Internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime,” the Guardian reported. “The G-20 spying appears to have been organized for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.”