The G8 summit kicks off today in Northern Ireland, UK. As the summit begins, the hosts have a headache by the name of Edward Snowden. Snowden, the NSA leaker, has leaked again — this time detailing the means and methods by which the British spied on G20 summit leaders at a 2009 meeting. The UK’s far-left Guardian is once again the leaker’s choice conduit for relaying the leak.
Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.
The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.
That the hosts spied on personnel from the other countries involved in the discussions is not, or should not be, news to anyone who knows the first thing about international relations. Nations spy on nations, friend and foe alike. Always have, always will. But the Guardian, thanks to Snowden, goes the extra mile and details the means and methods by which the British spied. They have dropped the story with exquisite timing to embarrass the British ahead of the current summit.
Specifically, Snowden leaks that the British were keen to obtain information on the Turkish and Russian delegations at the 2009 summit. Neither of these countries have the best human rights records on the planet; Turkey has been battling its own citizens lately over Erdogan’s authoritarian, Islamist rule. Putin is former KGB and under his watch a few dissidents have met bizarre and untimely deaths. This latest leak hurts the West, of which Snowden is stridently critical, while never touching on any of the tactics or methods used by any of the West’s adversaries. Snowden once again launched his leak attack from Hong Kong, which is territory belonging to the Communist Chinese regime. Snowden has yet to leak anything critical of his new hosts.