The Government Communications Headquarters is based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.
The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), have been using their spy capabilities to target not just enemy governments, but allies, aid groups, and corporations with no obvious links to terrorism or threats to the United States or the United Kingdom.
The new report, published jointly in the New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel, relies on new documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden clearly showing that the spy agencies targeted “communications of senior European Union officials, foreign leaders including African heads of state and sometimes their family members, directors of United Nations and other relief programs, and officials overseeing oil and finance ministries, according to the documents.” The news outlets did not publish any of the documents, in whole or in part.
Targeted allies also include German diplomatic installations in Africa, a French defense contractor, and Israeli government e-mail.
Other targets included Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) in the UK, the French oil and gas giant Total, and an “Estonian Skype security team.”