Monday, July 8, 2013

Brazilian newspaper says NSA intercepted millions of phone calls, emails within that country

"An allegation of espionage" - Brazil's foreign ministry

Guadalajara -
O Globo, one of Brazil's most prominent newspapers, reported yesterday that "U.S. intelligence services" intercepted millions of emails and telephone calls in the huge South American country through programs such as PRISM, the existence of which was revealed in early June by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

"In the last decade persons living in or passing through Brasil, as well as businesses in the country, were targeted by the NSA," O Globo alleged. The Rio de Janeiro based paper cited Snowden as its source, and said it had access to documents confirming massive U.S. surveillance programs in recent years.

"There aren't precise numbers," the paper reported, "but as of last January Brazil was just behind the United States, where 2.3 million emails and calls were intercepted."

In recent weeks American officials were forced to acknowledge the existence of PRISM, but they defended the program as one designed only to capture so-called metadata - phone numbers dialed, email addresses and the dates and times of communications. The U.S. insists that no emails were read and no phone calls were eavesdropped, and the government denies it had the capacity to do so.

O Globo's report, redacted by Spanish news sources, did not clarify whether the paper is alleging that emails were read or captured and phone calls were listened to or recorded. Mexican press accounts, translating the Portuguese original, only referred to the communications as espiados - "spied upon."

The report by the respected newspaper sent shock waves through country. "We consider extremely serious the information appearing today in the press," said a foreign ministry spokesperson in the the capital of Brasilia. "The facts are sufficiently detailed that we regard them as a claim of espionage."

Brazilian foreign minister Antonio Patriota said today that his government has demanded clarification from U.S. ambassador Thomas Shannon. Revelan espionaje contra Brasil.

July 10 - Mexico turns up heat on U.S. over PRISM surveillance
July 9 - Red de espionaje de EE.UU. se extendió por toda América Latina, según O Globo de Brasil
July 7 - Edward Snowden: Washington's massive miscalculation
June 30 - Barack Obama - before and after, in his own words

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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