The British government is deeper in diplomatic hot water over its alleged role in the vast secret American Internet spying programme, codenamed PRISM.
According to the Guardian newspaper’s latest revelations, high ranking delegates of Turkey, South Africa and Russia who were attending the 2009 G20 summit in London were spied on.
The article said that participants had their computers and e-mail traffic monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts.
The Guardian’s source is US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, currently seeking protection from extradition in Hong Kong.
He said top secret documents show that during G20 meetings in April and September 2009 Britain’s GCHQ used “ground-breaking intelligence capabilities”.
This comes in the wake of Foreign Secretary William Hague denying that British intelligence had acted wrongly with the NSA.
Hague said: “It has been suggested that GCHQ uses our partnership with the United States to get around UK law, obtaining information that they can not legally obtain in the United Kingdom. I wish to be absolutely clear that this accusation is baseless”
The G8 nations currently being hosted by Britain for a summit all attended the 2009 meetings. Angry ministries in their home countries are demanding explanations.