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Fake Internet cafes used by U.K. spy agency during the G20 summit of 2009

New documents published by the Guardian purportedly show that the U.K.’s spy agency used fake Internet cafes with built in key logger programs to monitor foreign leaders’ cellular calls and computer E-mails and communications.

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
An aerial image of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

This latest revelation is said to be part of what former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden revealed when he decided to blow the whistle on what he felt was an intrusion on privacy and a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The 2009 G20 summit meeting took place in London, England and included the likes of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, U.S. President Barack Obama as well as 19 other heads of state from around the globe.   During the G20 summit, the U.K. Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) was said to have conducted intense surveillance on all of the foreign leader’s computers, cellular and satellite phone calls and were instructed to do so by the administration of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Some of the tricks used by the U.K. spy agency were creating fake Internet cafes where the communications were monitored and certain communications were recorded.  The U.K. agents were able to tap directly into many phone communications and computers by means of the Internet cafes that also had key logging and e-mail capturing programs in place.

GCHQ logo
GCHQ logo

The documents also show that many of the BlackBerry smartphones that were used by the foreign delegates were also hacked and monitored for outgoing messages and texts.  Apparently, the U.K. agents were capable of seeing the E-mails long before the delegates read them

According to sources, the reason behind the spying was so that the U.S. and U.K. could have more leverage during negotiations.

The U.S.-based NSA also shared information with the GCHQ and was reportedly collecting information at the 2009 G20 summit as well, some of which involved the E-mail communications by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other Russian officials.

These new documents also seem to suggest that the GCHQ has known about and are involved with the NSA’s PRISM program for some time.

Jack Taylor
Jack Taylor is an accomplished writer who works as a freelance journalist and has contributed to many award winning media agencies, which includes VRzone. Born in 1971, Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science with a focus in Journalism, graduating Magna Cum Laude. An eclectic writer, Taylor specializes in editorials, trending technologies and controversial topics such as hacktivism and government spying.

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