TODAY   |  June 17, 2013

Report: UK spied on foreign leaders in 2009

A new report based on the information leaked by Edward Snowden is suggesting Britain spied on world leaders at two London summits in 2009. Meanwhile, protestors are demonstrating in support of Snowden in China. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>> touched down in northern ireland early this morning and stepped into yet another delicate diplomatic dance.

>> that's right. just as he is about to meet with fellow g-8 leaders and talk about trade and economy in syria comes the new revelation from edward snowden . it could make things awkward.

>> let's get to andrea mitchell who is covering this for us. good morning to you.

>>> good morning. edward snowden has struck even. he is released documents on high level spying on foreign leaders including the then president of russia.

>> reporter: yet another disclosure that great britain spied on world leaders at two london summit in 2009 . one of them targeted the then russian president . protestors outside the u.s. kons lit in hong kong were demonstrating in support of snowden , the acknowledged nsa leaker.

>> i think a great person is willing to expose this.

>> reporter: china is encouraging support for snowden ever since he told a chinese newspaper last week that the u.s. hacked into computers there for years. on fox, dick chaney who helped institute it and congress rejected the surveillance program.

>> i think he's a traitor and committed crimes by violating agreements begin the position he had.

>> reporter: snowden is still believed to be in hong kong although the white house can't find him.

>> i don't know where he is right now.

>> reporter: the debate of the secret programs escalates.

>> it's important that the american people know what's being done in their name.

>> it is protecting the united states from terrorists attacks.

>> reporter: lawmakers want more privacy protection.

>> once the fbi gets the information then the question is who can look at it, what can you do with information?

>> reporter: while the administration assesses the damage, this warning from former cia and nsa chief.

>>> what i fare they learn is not what we're about to do but they learn what we're not allowed to do and they learn the limits of the program.

>> there are unconfirmed reports that edward snowden has applied for asylum. also british officials say they haven't seen enough of the new documents to comment one way or another. it would not be surprising, nbc news reports years ago that the clinton administration eves dropped in miami and he would not stay at the summit retreat not knowing who would be listening in.