NSA’s reported eavesdropping on Tony Blair causes major rift in U.S.-British intelligence relations | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


NSA’s reported eavesdropping on Tony Blair causes major rift in U.S.-British intelligence relations

(WMR) -- Revelations by ABC News that the National Security Agency (NSA) kept an intercept file on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, including information on his “private life,” has sent shock waves through the British and American intelligence communities.

ABC News reported that files on Blair’s communications were maintained in a NSA database code-named “Anchory” and was accessible from the NSA regional signals intelligence site at Fort Gordon, Georgia, known as “NSA Georgia.” The facility focuses on intercepting communications in Europe and the Middle East.

The NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have worked closely together and share signals intercepts, as well as mutual signals intelligence tasking via the Echelon system. There is an unofficial agreement that the United States and Britain will not eavesdrop on one another. The only exception is when GCHQ tasks NSA with listening in on British citizens inside the United Kingdom, for example, members of the Royal family, and vice versa, when NSA tasks GCHQ to eavesdrop on Americans inside the United States in order to skirt U.S. wiretapping laws.

British intelligence sources have told WMR that the real concerns in Britain are that if Blair’s phone calls were monitored by NSA it means there has been a breach within the secure Brent 2 telephone used by British officials to protect their communications from eavesdroppers. The phone, which uses highly sophisticated encryption capabilities, is not likely to have had its codes broken by NSA, according to British intelligence sources. The fear in British intelligence circles is that British intelligence officials conspired with NSA to listen in on Blair’s communications.

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