British Woman Arrested for Violating the Official Secrets Act & the United Nations Launches Inquiry Into U.S. Spying of UN Diplomats. We Talk to <I>Observer</I> Reporter Marin Bright Who Broke the Sto

March 10, 2003

A 28-year-old woman working at the top-secret British Government Communications Headquarters has been arrested on charges of contravening the Official Secrets Act.

The GCHQ is the electronic surveillance arm of the British intelligence service.

The arrest comes just a few days after the Observer published a top-secret National Security Agency document. The memo revealed US agents had been ordered to bug the telephone and email communications of U.N. Security Council delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea. The surveillance operation was designed to help the US win votes for the war resolution on Iraq.

The Observer reports the NSA document was leaked to the paper by British security sources who objected to being asked to aid the US surveillance operation.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has launched a top-level investigation into the US is spying operation.

  • Martin Bright, journalist with the London Observer. He is co-author of the article "US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war."
  • Wayne Madsen, senior fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center and a former National Security Agency intelligence officer.

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