UK spies once saved Harry Potter book from leaking

In 2005, prior to the release of  The Half-Blood Prince , British spies spotted a leaked copy of the new Harry Potter book online.
In 2005, prior to the release of The Half-Blood Prince , British spies spotted a leaked copy of the new Harry Potter book online.

Usually concerned with top secret matters affecting national security, Britain's eavesdropping spy agency GCHQ just happened to be on the lookout for leaks of a yet-to-be-published Harry Potter book.

Shortly before the publication of one of the volumes in J.K. Rowling's seven-part wizarding saga, with millions of fans worldwide at a fever pitch of anticipation, publisher Nigel Newton received an unexpected phone call.

"I remember the British spy eavesdropping station GCHQ rang me up and said 'we've detected an early copy of this book on the internet'," Newton said in a recent interview.

According to reports, the call was in 2005 and the book was The Half-Blood Prince.

"I got him to read a page to our editor and she said 'no, that's a fake'," said Newton, founder and chief executive of Potter publishing house Bloomsbury, describing the spies as "good guys".

A spokesman for GCHQ said: "We do not comment on our defence against the dark arts."

As any Potter reader will know, Defence Against the Dark Arts is a subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in which pupils learn how to defend themselves and fight back against the evil deeds of Dark Wizards.

-AAP

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 29 Sep 2016 07:26:27 Processing Time: 520ms