Brazil Admits Spying on Diplomatic and Commercial Targets
With lots of help from Glenn Greenwald, the Brazilian government has been having a gigantic fit over NSA surveillance. But, uh…. Brazil Acknowledges Spying on Diplomatic Targets.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s government acknowledged on Monday that its top intelligence agency had spied on diplomatic targets from countries including the United States, Iran and Russia, putting Brazilian authorities in the uncomfortable position of defending their own surveillance practices after repeatedly criticizing American spying operations.
Brazil’s Institutional Security Cabinet, which oversees the nation’s intelligence activities, contended in a statement on Monday that the spying operations, involving relatively basic surveillance about a decade ago of diplomats and diplomatic properties in Brazil, were “in absolute compliance” with legislation governing such practices.
The statement came in response to a report in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo describing how the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, commonly known as Abin, had followed some diplomats from Russia and Iran by foot and by car, photographing their movements, while also monitoring a commercial property leased by the United States Embassy in Brasília, the capital.
Recently, Greenwald announced on CNN:
“It is not true that every country intercepts the personal communications of their democratically elected allies…”
Maybe not every country — but certainly the one Greenwald lives in.
And for extra added hypocrisy:
Brazilian intelligence officials, for their part, insisted in their statement that Abin’s operations were intended to defend “national sovereignty.” Referring to the revelations in the newspaper report, they also said that the leaking of classified material was illegal and that those responsible for doing so would be held accountable under Brazilian law.
That’s right — Brazil also intends to prosecute the “whistleblowers” who revealed their spying on allies.