The latest leak from National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden reveals that British spies at the Government Communications Headquarters were tasked with spying on allies such as South Africa and Turkey during the 2009 G20 summit meetings.
The report notes that the GCHQ operation was sanctioned “at a senior level in the government of the then prime minister, Gordon Brown.”
Evidently, Snowden is not just concerned about the privacy of Americans – but also the emails or phone calls made by the international leadership community.
“The G20 spying appears to have been organized for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings,” the Guardian reports.
The timing is extraordinarily embarrassing for the United Kingdom, as world leaders join the G-8 summit in Ireland this week.
The report also reveals an interesting sub-plot of these normally dull summit meetings.