MOSCOW, June 17 (RAPSI) - Former FSB Director Nikolai Kovalyov, currently a member of the State Duma Security Committee, believes that foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 could have their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted.
The UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is believed to have used "ground-breaking intelligence capabilities" during the G20 meetings in 2009 to intercept the communications of visiting delegations, including Russia, Turkey and South Africa, The Guardian reported, citing documents uncovered by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Snowden earlier said he provided the media with information about US programs that allowed it to tap into nine US Internet companies and to gather all information from users, including videos, emails, searches and pictures.
The Guardian reported that the NSA intercept specialists stationed at a RAF base in North Yorkshire attempted "to target and decode encrypted phone calls from London to Moscow which were made by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and other Russian delegates."
"Eavesdropping on talks between top officials in the host country is not very difficult technically. But intelligence services are usually prohibited from doing so to prevent diplomatic and international scandals," Kovalyov told RIA Novosti, commenting on media reports.
However, considering who revealed this information and the current tensions, the former FSB director admits that the man could be telling the truth. He recalled that Snowden had earlier said that the US intelligence services control the Internet via large companies, which claim that they are not involved in eavesdropping.