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Reports said on Monday American and British secret services spied on G20 summit participants in London, in particularly they intercepted messages from the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. As a result, they knew what they could expect from partners. Meanwhile, Russia's Federal Guards Service claims the spies were unable to decipher anything.
Right on the eve of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, fugitive CIA agent Edward Snowden passed to journalists documents about a joint operation by the U.S. National Security Agency and Great Britain's Government Communications Headquarters to intercept email and telephone calls from high-placed foreign officials and presidents, including Russia, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports. According to the whistle blower, who fled the U.S. authorities to the China-controlled Hong Kong, 45 analysts of British intelligence, with the assistance of specialists of the U.S. electronic defense station in North Yorkshire tried to tap and decipher confidential telephone talks of former Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev round the clock. The calls from Turkey's finance minister and his associates, and the South African delegation were also under surveillance.
To intercept information, the secret services set up Internet cafes where they used a program to monitor e-mail and the software to spy on G20 delegates' computers; they took advantage of tapping delegates' Blackberry phones to trace their phone calls and messages while 45 analysts were watching round-the-clock who phoned whom during the summit, the Moskovsky Komsomolets reported. During the meeting between the G20 finance ministers in September 2009, they used new technologies that traced each phone call made by delegates. The documents that were leaked by Edward Snowden warrant the supposition that the surveillance operation was sanctioned at top level by the Gordon Brown government and that the intelligence data was passed to British ministers.
Former CIA staffer Edward Snowden played a dirty trick both on the host of the summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Washington and London defended hacker operations referring to the necessity of protection against terror. Clearly, they had nothing to do with the fight against this evil in London in 2009.
The British call their Government Communications Headquarters /GCHQ/ which engages in radio electronic intelligence, a brother of the U.S. National Security Agency. These bodies joined efforts to decipher Medvedev's messages to Moscow which were relayed through the Russian Embassy in Great Britain. The question is to what extent they succeeded.
According to the statement by spokesman for Russia's Federal Guards Service /FSO/ Sergei Devyatov, U.S.-British spies were unable to decipher anything. "The FSO takes all the necessary measures and ensures the proper level of confidentiality of information for top officials," the newspaper cited Devyatov as saying.
"There have been no problems with confidential communications channels providing information for top Russian officials," he explained, adding that such channels were fully protected from unsanctioned access.