Sir Ian Lobban, Head of the Government Communications Center (GCHQ), was reportedly summoned to make this request in the early hours of 6 June 2013, but declined the offer.
The late night search and British refusal to close the leaks was the first of several episodes in which the Snowden incident caused division in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. He appeared in Richard Curbage’s new book, The Secret History, “Five Eyes.”
Lobban said he was aware of the importance of the special relationship between the US and British intelligence agencies, but said that “an offer to persuade the newspaper to publish an article in the interests of the NSA seemed like too much of a step to him.”
In the new book, Curbage says relations between US and British intelligence were further strained when NSA chief General Keith Alexander didn’t tell Lobban that the Americans had identified Snowden as the source of the material and forced the British agency to investigate on their side. . looking for a leak. GCHQ only learned Snowden’s identity after an interview with the Guardian.
Among the materials leaked by Snowden were classified documents – other members of the Five Eyes – from the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand intelligence services. All exchanged information with the NSA through a common database. Their embarrassment intensified after it was learned that they were spying on their G20 allies and partners.
According to the book, Five Eyes allies were enraged that a contractor like Snowden, who worked as a computer systems administrator, had access to their secrets.