It has now been reported that Britain is running a secret Internet surveillance station in the Middle East. The Independent newspaper said it was not disclosing the country where the base is located, but said the facility can intercept emails, telephone calls and web traffic for the United States and other intelligence agencies. Apparently the British base taps into underwater fibre-optic cables in the region.
It passes the information back to the British electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), in Cheltenham, southwest England, which then shares it with the US National Security Agency. The Independent did not say how it got its paws on the Snowden files. It had been believed that the files had only gone to the Guardian in the UK.
British counter-terror police on Thursday launched a criminal investigation into documents seized from the boyfriend of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke the Snowden story.