Europe

Belgium demands explanation from British spy agency

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Belgium has demanded explanations from the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) over allegations that it infiltrated major Belgian national telecom provider Belgacom.

The allegations against GCHQ were made after documents, leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, pointed to the British agency’s spying activities against Belgium.

According to reports in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, the Cheltenham-based intelligence agency has been accused of hacking the IT system of Belgacom by placing a virus in its network.

“Following the article in Der Spiegel, the government asked Belgian intelligence services to ask their British colleagues for more information,” said a source close to the Belgian government.

Prosecutors in Brussels are now investigating the case against the British spy agency.

A GCHQ spokeswoman declined to comment on the revelation.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament is also examining the activities of the GCHQ. European courts have launched a legal challenge against the agency’s surveillance programs over violating the privacy of millions of people throughout Britain and Europe.

However, London claims the EU does not have the authority to investigate these charges in European courts.

Snowden is currently in Russia, where he has been granted temporary asylum.

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