UK G20 delegation warned of ‘beautiful’ Chinese spies at summit
British government security chiefs have issued strong warnings to those who are part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s team attending the summit in Hangzhou, the Daily Telegraph reports.
They have told staff they should not accept any gifts and should be particularly wary of electronic devices, such as memory sticks and mobile phone chargers that could potentially be offered by the Chinese.
The UK government is worried that China may use the opportunity to steal secrets from British officials attending the summit or could try and upload spying programs on to their electronic devices.
Officials traveling with May have been given temporary email addresses and mobile phones for the trip to better protect themselves from potential Chinese hackers.
One Whitehall official told the Telegraph that the hotel rooms used by the UK delegation during the summit would likely be bugged.
“We have been told that if you feel uncomfortable about people seeing you naked, you should get changed under your bedclothes,” the source said.
There is precedent for fearing Chinese espionage attempts. In 2008, a Downing Street official, who was accompanying then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was preyed upon by a beautiful Chinese woman.
The UK official took the Chinese spy back to his hotel room, but woke up to find his Blackberry and documents from his briefcase were missing.
Damien McBride, who was previously Brown’s spin doctor, witnessed the incident, which he recorded in his memoires published in 2013.
He woke up the following morning "minus his Blackberry and half the contents of his briefcase,” as cited by the Telegraph.
The official also had a “very bad headache, owning to the Mickey Finn nightcap his overnight companion had administered to him in his hotel room.”
Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2014 revealed that the UK actually employed the very same “dirty tricks” that it is warning its delegation to Hangzhou to be wary of.
Snowden stated that British intelligence has used sexual “honey traps” to ensnare rival agents, hackers and suspected terrorists, with targets lured “to go somewhere on the internet, or a physical location” where they are then “met by a friendly face.”
Later in 2014, a leaked UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) document said that detailed instructions had been given to British officials that the Russian intelligence, the FSB, may try to compromise and blackmail foreign agents “through knowledge of marital infidelity or sexual activity the target may wish to hide.”
Chinese intelligence, meanwhile, has a “voracious, vast and indiscriminate appetite” for all types of data, and allegedly recurs to blackmail as well.