British Intelligence Spied On G20 Officials' Phone Calls And Emails During 2009 Summit

from the of-course-they-did dept

Late Sunday, the Guardian revealed that during the G20 summit in London in 2009, the UK government made sure to intercept phone calls and internet communications of foreign politicians and officials who were attending. As the article notes, many have suspected this kind of activity, but this is the first time that evidence has been presented of it happening and that it was organized by GCHQ (the UK equivalent of the NSA). And, of course, this had nothing to do with "stopping terrorism" but was about "the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings." The listed activities:
  • 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.
Of course, this seems like traditional espionage that has gone on for ages, which by itself is less troubling to me. What's more revealing is some of the methods -- such as the ability to get around the security on the BlackBerry. As for the "internet cafe" -- who in their right mind would use such a thing, knowing that it was almost certainly being monitored?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 7:07pm

    They broke rule #1:

    'When spying, don't get caught, and if you do, make sure you have a believable sacrifice to throw under the bus.'

    That said, will be interested to see if someone loses their job over this 'unfortunate lapse of judgement', or if the blame will just be shuffled back and forth until people forget about it.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 7:19pm

    Bradley Manning

    I hear there was a guy working for the US military that spied on a large number of diplomats, and military personnel then provided those documents to the general public !!!!!!

    WTF: they really should shoot people like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Masnick = Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 7:28pm

    That article was great when I read it elsewhere. Get those clicks!

    I'm here, ready to discuss your theories as to why this surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment. Why won't you discuss it on the merits? Why do you feel the need to block IP addresses rather than have a substantive discussion about something that actually matters?

    I'm not going anywhere, Mike. The only way to get rid of me is to deal with me. The only way to make me lose interest is to have an open and honest discussion with me. Blocking my IP only makes me post MORE. You should know that. As long as I'm blocked, I'll assume you want me to post an order of magnitude more than I used to. Your choice.

     

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  4.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 7:28pm

    Oh come on Mike

    If they weren't guilty of anything they'd have nothing to hide.

    QED.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Re:

    It violates basic human decency. Copyright infringement violates artist's rights and that's the one of the worst things in the world but mass surveillance doesn't violate everyone's privacy and that's fine by you?

    Logically consistent much?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:04pm

    Re:

    MmMMMmMMMM another glass of tears please!

     

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  7.  
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    Jesse (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Oh come on Mike

    So much win.

    Also it's eavesdropping to videotape police (with audio)/

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:21pm

    Yeap, there's gonna be a lot of fallout over all this monitoring. It's gonna spread far wider than just the US citizens on this one.

     

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  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:48pm

    Big deal: I'm so important that Google spies on me EVERY DAY!

    Try though I do to escape its notice. Mike's new-found mania for re-writing every story out there on this topic is a test of his ability to NOT mentioin Google, and of mine to jam it in.

    "...get around the security on the BlackBerry." -- You may recall that RIM claimed that couldn't be done. Corporations lie continually.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    Re:

    Please, post as much as you want. Everyone above the age of 5 will continue to laugh at you or ignore you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Big deal: I'm so important that Google spies on me EVERY DAY!

    There is only one logical conclusion if Google spies on you every day when you (supposedly) don't want it to.

    You are not qualified to operate a computer or access the internet.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:55pm

    Re:

    Why won't you discuss how you cheat on your exams.

    You have still not proven that you do not cheat on every one of your exams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Big deal: I'm so important that Google spies on me EVERY DAY!

    I'm curious what Google-Alternative services you use.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 9:10pm

    Economic spying on friendly nations

    Of course this is nothing new, but, should it turn out the NSA has a similar economically-based justification, it might through some light on various trade agreement negotiations.

    It also might provide political cover for a nation that has (theoretically) realized they're getting screwed over on free trade or international IP agreements to, uh, revisit their commitments to such agreements.

    Add one more (imaginary) revelation, and the international relations could get pretty complex pretty fast.

     

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  15.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Big deal: I'm so important that Google spies on me EVERY DAY!

    If it's been said once it's been said a hundred times: if you don't want to be tracked by Google, don't use their products/services.

    The fact that you claim that you are still 'being spied on' by them suggests either that you have fallen for the 'Google is everything' lie that the *AA's and several governments have been pushing, or that despite claiming to hate their 'spying' on you, you continue to use their products, like a masochist that just cannot get enough suffering and/or needs something to complain about.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 12:14am

    Because they are building this whole thing on terrorism fear

    when as ever its just money they are interested in. thats why its wrong.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 1:24am

    Re: Bradley Manning

    the general public is the main enemy of every state. They should follow the rules and declare war officially!

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:03am

    Re: Big deal: I'm so important that Google spies on me EVERY DAY!

    If i'm not mistaken i seem to recall an article about RIM beeing forced to hand over backdoors into their system to be able to sell blackberries in the UAE, so i suppose that technically they might be right, the security might have been bypassed - not broken.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:50am

    Re: They broke rule #1:

    'unfortunate lapse of judgement

    It was not an unfortunate lapse of judgment, it was our turn to spy on, I mean host, all the negotiators.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:34am

    Re: Bradley Manning

    Given your poor use of commas and grammar, I hope you mean:

    "I hear there was a guy working for the US military, which spied on a large number of diplomats and military personnel, who then provided those documents to the general public !!!!!!

    WTF: they really should shoot people who run organisations like that."

    An additional -10 points for the excessive scaremongering via six (6) exclamation points.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:42am

    Re:

    Grade school debating, much?

    I'm pretty sure Mike has posted his reasons aplenty.

    I also wasn't aware this was a 'debate' site, let alone one where only your 'debates' (I think that's how you spell 'whinging') count, or that Mike was under any obligation to debate anyone, let alone yourself.

    Complaining that an opinion site is 'looking for page clicks' is like complaining that EMI are putting out songs. Why not go and whine somewhere useful and get Paris Hilton/Snooki/whoever-is-the-latest-brainless-to-fill-the-airwaves to stop doing so. And maybe they can teach you some maturity at the same time.

    Did someone 'block' your IP? Must have been used by a spambot...

     

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  22.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:43am

    Re: Big deal: I'm so important that Google spies on me EVERY DAY!

    Mike, you should make people use Gmail accounts to post comments. Watch Blue's head a'splode! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Lurker Keith, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:49am

    Re:

    1) Most articles on Techdirt are sourced from other places. That is how Techdirt works.

    2) The UK isn't bound by the US Constitution, nor its Amendments, you idiot.

    3) Also, if your IP address is blocked, how do you post? Users reporting your spam for what it is isn't IP blocking. & your comments aren't removed, they're just collapsed so intelligent readers don't have to worry about their IQ dropping. If they want to read your rant, they're free to click the indicator & reveal you have no clue what you are talking about.

     

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  24. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re:

    LOL! Post that link all day long. I LOVE it. It's Pirate Mike proving yet again that he has all the time in the world to make excuses, but no time to answer even the most basic question about his beliefs.

    Why won't Mikey tell us if he thinks copyright infringement is immoral or not? Why won't he discuss whether Aaron Swartz broke the law? The list goes on and on. Mike is too scared to discuss anything that actually matters.

    He runs every fucking time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re:

    The tears will be yours, my friend. Think I've been a pain in the past? I wasn't even warmed up yet. I'm here now every day, all day, every post, over and over again reminding everyone who reads TD that Mike is too scared to ever discuss anything that he posts.

    I fucking own Techdirt now, friend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Mike = Scaredy Cat, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re:

    And yet people know that Mike is too scared to answer even the most basic question. Why won't Mike discuss whether he thinks infringement is immoral?

    Hmm... It's not hard to figure out. He's a total fucking fake and he knows it. I shit all over him and he just takes it because he's too scared to actually confront me.

    I fucking own this place. Mike is so fucking scared of me he doesn't know what to do. All he has to do is have an honest discussion with me. It will never happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Masnick = FUDGE PACKER, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re:

    I'll discuss the stories here that Mike pumps out day after day on the merits. Why won't Mike do the same. Hmm.... It's not hard to figure out. Mike just copies what other people say, and then when he finds a topic that gets the clicks, he runs with it likes there's no tomorrow.

    Mike only cares about getting clicks and getting paid. I care about the facts and getting things right. That's why Mike is too fucking scared of me that he has to block my IP.

    You block me, I post more than ever, Mikey. Your choice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re:

    Nope. Mike won't discuss the simplest thing. Ask him whether he thinks copyright infringement is immoral. He WILL NOT answer the question. He's run from thousands of other questions as well. He's so fucking scared of me that he had to block my IP. Now I post more than ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You said it yourself.

    " All he has to do is have an honest discussion with me. It will never happen."

    You keep moving the goalposts in every discussion, every answer you get you suddenly pull up the stakes and start pretending that he hasn't answered your question, thus moving the goalposts.
    Then you have the cognitive dissonance of thinking this makes you the winner of the argument. While we laugh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    Why do you feel the need to block IP addresses rather than have a substantive discussion about something that actually matters?


    Seriously? Masnick blocked your IP address? Wow. Just when I thought he was merely a douchenozzle, he reveals himself to be a giant hypocritical douchenozzle. This is truly hysterical.

     

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  31.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ^
    |
    Proof that aveRAEG_shmoe doesn't have a life.

    "...O can't you see
    You belong to me
    How my poor heart aches with every step you take..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    "The only way to get rid of me is to deal with me."

    Wow, you're right... there's no way he can ignore you indefinitely, by himself. He'd have to, I don't know... crowdsource some way to ignore you. Maybe a button, of some sort. Like, a way to flag your posts as useless drivel, so that people who aren't entertained by them can just skip them, without any actual effort from the site admins. Why hasn't that happened yet, we'll never know.

    "The only way to make me lose interest is to have an open and honest discussion with me."

    Well, this says anything. Open and honest discussion make angry_schmucko lose interest. From the horse's mouth (with no name). No wonder why it's close to impossible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:21pm

    The domestic public has always accepted that we spy on foreign interests. But now that the domestic public is being spied upon, does that mean the spies now consider the domestic public to be foreign?

     

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  34.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    Re: NSA Surveillance

    "I'm not going anywhere, Mike."

    Where would you go?

    You can't get a job and no school will accept you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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