Tuesday 21 November 2017

Anger as US accused of spying on Brazilian president

Donna Bowater Rio

BRAZIL has demanded answers from the White House after it emerged that America's National Security Agency had spied on President Dilma Rousseff.

Classified documents released by the whistleblower Edward Snowden showed that the US monitored phones, emails and internet used by the Brazilian president and her key advisers.

Exchanges between Ms Rousseff and her aides were apparently infiltrated with the aim of "an increased understanding of the communication methods and associated selectors of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her main advisers".

The revelations, made on the Brazilian news magazine show 'Fantastico', also suggested the NSA had targeted Enrique Pena Nieto, the Mexican president.

MESSAGES

Among the "interesting messages" allegedly intercepted by the US when Mr Pena Nieto was a presidential candidate were emails in which he indicated who would serve as ministers.

It was not clear whether the spying took place through communication networks or individuals on the ground in Brazil, according to 'Fantastico'.

James Bamford, who wrote three books on the NSA, told the show: "We have a large embassy in Brasilia and a consulate in Rio de Janeiro. The NSA operates in these buildings. Antennas in the embassies can intercept microwave signals and cell phones."

Other papers in the cache included evidence that the NSA dedicated an entire division to international policy and commercial activities, targeting western Europe, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.

Paulo Bernardo, Brazil's communications minister, said: "This has nothing to do with national security. This is eavesdropping to gain advantage in business and industry negotiations."

Thomas Shannon, the US ambassador to Brazil, has been summoned to give a formal explanation to the government. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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