British surveillance agency GCHQ intervened with the launch of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, according to the Telegraph, quoting the Sunday Times.
Nigel Newton, founder and chief executive of Bloomsbury Publishing, reportedly said GCHQ contacted him after finding what they thought was a fake on the internet.
“We fortunately had many allies,” he reportedly said in a radio interview in Australia last week. “GCHQ rang me up and said: 'We’ve detected an early copy of this book on the internet.’ I got them to read a page to our editor and she said, ‘No, that’s a fake’.”
A GCHQ spokesman declined to comment when contacted by the Telegraph, saying: "We do not comment on our defence against the Dark Arts."
A Bloomsbury spokesperson told The Bookseller the news "refers to something that happened back in 2005", adding that they don't have any further information on the matter.
This August will see the launch of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which continues the story of Harry Potter 19 years after the end of the last book. The script will be published in book format by Little, Brown on 31st July.
The Fantastic Beasts film, also set in the same world as Harry Potter, will be realeased in November, with tie-in publishing coming from HarperCollins, Scholastic and Insight Editions.