British company: We didn't bug Ecuador's embassy
July 4, 2013 -- Updated 1939 GMT (0339 HKT)
Ecuador says a hidden recording device was found inside its embassy in London.
- CEO: Accusations that a company bugged Ecuador's embassy are "completely untrue"
- Ecuador says a hidden recording device was found inside its London embassy
- The "spy microphone" was placed in an electrical outlet, the foreign minister says
- He calls for British authorities to assist in Ecuador's investigation
(CNN) -- Ecuador's government says it has well-founded suspicions that a private security company bugged its London embassy.
But Surveillance Group Limited, whose website boasts ties with British law enforcement agencies and European financial institutions, denied that accusation on Thursday.
"We have this morning heard an accusation the source of which is apparently Ricardo Patino, the Ecuadorian foreign minister, suggesting that we have bugged the Ecuadorian Embassy. This is completely untrue," Timothy Young, the company's CEO, said in a written statement. "The Surveillance Group do not and have never been engaged in any activities of this nature. We have not been contacted by any member of the Ecuadorian government, and our first notification was via the press this morning."
Patino told reporters Wednesday that Ecuador had "founded suspicions" that the British company was tied to a secret recording device discovered inside an electrical outlet in the ambassador's office last month.
But he did not detail what led Ecuadorian authorities to suspect the company's involvement.
The foreign minister called for British authorities to help investigate the incident.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuadorian Embassy
In addition to serving as an office for Ecuadorian officials abroad, the embassy has also been home for more than a year to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who received asylum from Ecuador in August and risks arrest if he leaves the property.
The revelation comes amid worldwide debate over U.S. surveillance, including reports that the National Security Agency planted bugs in diplomatic offices.
It also comes as Ecuador plays a key role in the global guessing game over the next steps for Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who is on the run after admitting that he leaked classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs.
Snowden fueling U.S.-Ecuador row
Snowden has asked for asylum from Ecuador and 20 other countries.
Patino said on Wednesday that his country was still evaluating the request.
Asked whether Assange's presence inside the Ecuadorian Embassy had opened the building to more risks, Patino acknowledged that the WikiLeaks founder's presence had brought greater attention to the embassy.
"Surely, there are risks, yes ... but we are willing to run them when it comes to defending rights," he said.
Part of complete coverage on
Data mining & privacy
June 23, 2013 -- Updated 1425 GMT (2225 HKT)
He's a high-school dropout who worked his way into the most secretive computers in U.S. intelligence as a defense contractor.
August 2, 2013 -- Updated 0355 GMT (1155 HKT)
The White House is "very disappointed" that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1357 GMT (2157 HKT)
Spies with surveillance agencies in the U.S. and U.K. infiltrated video games like "World of Warcraft" in a hunt for terrorists "hiding in plain sight" online.
August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1139 GMT (1939 HKT)
Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden both held jobs that gave them access to some of their country's most secret and sensitive intelligence. They chose to share that material with the world and are now paying for it.
August 1, 2013 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
The NSA's controversial intelligence-gathering programs have prevented 54 terrorist attacks around the world, including 13 in the United States.
August 1, 2013 -- Updated 1854 GMT (0254 HKT)
You've never heard of XKeyscore, but it definitely knows you. The National Security Agency's top-secret program essentially makes available everything you've ever done on the Internet.
August 18, 2013 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
You may have never heard of Lavabit and Silent Circle. That's because they offered encrypted (secure) e-mail services, something most Americans have probably never thought about needing.
The U.S. intelligence community plans to declassify additional information about surveillance programs of the National Security Agency.
July 24, 2013 -- Updated 1854 GMT (0254 HKT)
"Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere ... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone."
July 16, 2013 -- Updated 1338 GMT (2138 HKT)
Follow Snowden's movements and aslyum requests across the globe via our interactive.
July 2, 2013 -- Updated 1356 GMT (2156 HKT)
President Barack Obama responds to outrage by European leaders over revelations of alleged U.S. spying.
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
Browse through a history of high-profile intelligence leaking cases.
July 2, 2013 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
Former President George W. Bush talks Snowden, AIDS, Mandela and his legacy.
June 26, 2013 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
Edward Snowden took a job with an NSA contractor in order to gather evidence about U.S. surveillance programs.
Is Edward Snowden a hero, a traitor or something in between? Here's a glance at your opinions about the NSA leaker.
June 19, 2013 -- Updated 1047 GMT (1847 HKT)
With reports of NSA snooping, many people have started wondering about their personl internet security.
August 14, 2013 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Click through our gallery to learn about other major leaks and what happened in the aftermath.
June 9, 2013 -- Updated 2002 GMT (0402 HKT)
What really goes on inside America's most secretive agency? CNN's Chris Lawrence reports.
Today's five most popular stories