NSA Paid Britain’s GCHQ $150 Million Over Three Years: Report

August 1, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

The NSA paid British spy agency GCHQ around $150 million in secret funds, a report on Thursday said.

The Guardian, citing NSA leaker Edward Snowden, reported that the money was paid over the past three years to gain influence and access over the British intelligence agency.

“GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight,” reads a classified briefing by the agency.

It said that redevelopments at the Bude headquarters in southwest England were paid for by the U.S. spy agency

A document from 2010 also noted that the U.S. “raised a number of issues with regards to meeting NSA’s minimum expectations”. It said GCHQ “still remains short of the full NSA ask.”

The leaked documents cited by the Guardian also show that the GCHQ seeks to “exploit any phone, anywhere, any time.”

Snowden reportedly told the paper that “it’s not just a US problem,” adding that the British spy agency is “worse than the U.S.”

The Guardian said the amount of personal data that is usable by the GCHQ has increased by 7,000 percent in the past five years. Most of the U.K.’s intelligence comes from the NSA, however.

Also, some staff at the agency had issues with “the morality and ethics of their operational work, particularly given the level of deception involved.”

On Thursday, Snowden thanked Russia for allowing him to gain asylum. According to The Associated Press, he left the transit zone at the Moscow airport.

“He now is one of the most sought after men in the world,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told AP.