Snowden documents show U.S. subsidizing British electronic spying

Aug. 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM

LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. government has paid millions of dollars to the British electronic intelligence-gathering agency, documents leaked by Edward Snowden show.

General Communications Headquarters, usually known by the acronym GCHQ, received 100 million pounds (about $150 million) in the past three years, The Guardian reported Thursday. The documents showed the financial support came at a price with GCHQ cooperating with the U.S. National Security Agency and comply with U.S. demands for intelligence, the newspaper said.

One 2010 document said U.S. officials had "raised a number of issues with regards to meeting NSA's minimum expectations." It added GCHQ "still remains short of the full NSA ask."

Snowden has said GCHQ has played a major role in developing techniques for monitoring electronic communications.

"It's not just a U.S. problem," he said. "They are worse than the U.S."

The NSA paid half the cost of GCHQ's listening post in Cyprus, the documents showed. U.S. payments also helped with an overhaul of the intelligence site at Bude in Cornwall, which monitors trans-Atlantic communications.

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