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GCHQ's espionage operation at G20 summit exposed

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You will all be relieved to know that GCHQ is in fact, an equal opportunities, non discriminatory, illegal surveillance operation. It is not only the general public they spy on, but world leaders, diplomats, their allies, and pretty much anyone else whose data they can get their hands on.

The Guardian, via the now notorious NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, has exposed well documented evidence that during the last meeting of the G20 in the UK, GCHQ systematically mined data and organized elaborate espionage operations on G20 members. This is the same G20 that is supposed to foster mutual understanding and economic co-operation. But before we get too carried away in condemning the British intelligence services, it ought to be noted that other countries are doubtless doing the same, making international diplomacy a pretty sleazy playing field.

The Guardian outlines the spying operation as follows.

“Setting up internet cafes where they used an email interception programme and key-logging software to spy on delegates' use of computers;

Penetrating the security on delegates' BlackBerrys to monitor their email messages and phone calls;

Supplying 45 analysts with a live round-the-clock summary of who was phoning who at the summit;

Targeting the Turkish finance minister and possibly 15 others in his party;

Receiving reports from an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on the Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow.”

Perhaps the most interesting new revelation is that the raw intelligence being gathered was being fed straight to diplomats, politicians and negotiators in real time, and rather than being distilled into a digest after the meeting, began to actually help shape positions within the meeting.

The monitoring was apparently sanctioned at a senior level of Gordon Brown’s government, and documents support the allegations. Documents specifically mention ‘ministers’ and describe the various strategies in matter of fact detail.

One internal GCHQ memo noted. "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."

They actually used the word plot. Outstanding.

These revelations, no doubt held back by The Guardian for maximum impact will not only give the shocking Prism story a new set of legs, but not at all coincidentally come on the dawn of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. The spying allegations will no doubt be something of an elephant in the room

Written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Google+ Profile - More articles by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

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