Americans pay GCHQ £100m to spy for them, leaked NSA papers from Edward Snowden claim
In return for the payment GCHQ was required to ‘pull its weight’, according to the documents which were leaked last night
Friday 02 August 2013
The US government paid Britain’s spying centre at GCHQ £100m over three years, according to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the payments were made in order to secure access to Britain's intelligence gathering programmes.
In return for the payment GCHQ was required to ‘pull its weight’, according to the documents which were leaked last night.
The newspaper claims the payments were set out in papers which made clear that the Americans expected a return on the investment.
"GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight," a strategy briefing by the electronic listening post said.
In a 2010 document the Cheltenham-based agency acknowledged that the US had "raised a number of issues with regards to meeting NSA's minimum expectations" and GCHQ "still remains short of the full NSA ask".
In the documents GCHQ describes Britain's surveillance laws and regulatory regime as a "selling point" for the Americans, the newspaper claimed.
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said: "The vital work of the intelligence agencies requires effective and thorough oversight by the Intelligence and Security Committee on behalf of Parliament, and by ministers, and in the case of GCHQ, by the Foreign Secretary.
"The latest reports in the Guardian only underline the importance of the Foreign Secretary and the Intelligence and Security Committee being able to assure the public that the legal framework within which our intelligence agencies operate is both being adhered to and is fit for purpose."
The information is the latest to be leaked by Mr Snowden, a former NSA contractor who was charged with espionage in the US.
Yesterday, Mr Snowden was allowed to leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where he has been since late June after exposing the NSA's use of an intelligence programme, known as PRISM, to spy on Facebook accounts, emails and phone calls.
He was granted temporary asylum in Russia on the proviso that he would not publish any further documents that blacken the American government.
The Russian move is likely to further aggravate relations with the United States that were already strained by support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country's bloody civil war and a host of other issues.
"We see this as an unfortunate development and we are extremely disappointed by it," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in Washington.
"We are evaluating the utility of a summit, in light of this and other issues, but I have no announcement today on that.
Additional reporting by Reuters
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
Ed Miliband returns to the backbenches but it's all a bit awkward as he tries to avoid eye-contact with fellow Labour MPs
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Isis tortures 14-year-old Syrian boy and films it in graphic video for 'propaganda purposes'
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Conveyancing Case Hand...
£12675 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Assistant is required...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...