Brazil will demand an explanation from the United States over report its citizens’ electronic communications have been under surveillance by U.S. spy agencies for at least a decade, foreign minister Antonio Patriota said on Sunday.
Patriota’s remarks were in response to a report in the Globo daily newspaper on Sunday saying that the U.S. National Security Agency has been monitoring the telephone and e-mail activity of Brazilian companies and individuals as part of U.S. espionage activities.
The report cited documents obtained from U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden, a former NSA intelligence contractor.
The Globo report did not say how much traffic was monitored by NSA computers and intelligence officials. But the article pointed out that in the Americas, Brazil was second only to the United States in the number of transmissions intercepted.
Brazil was a priority nation for the NSA communications surveillance alongside China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan, Globo said.
In the 10-year period, the NSA captured 2.3 billion phone calls and messages in the United States and then used computers to analyze them for signs of suspicious activity, the paper said. In the United States, the NSA used legal but secret warrants to compel communications companies to turn over information about calls and emails for analysis.
Some access to Brazilian communications was obtained through American companies that were partners with Brazilian telecommunications companies, the paper reported, without identifying the companies.
The Globo article was written by Glenn Greenwald, Roberto Kaz and José Casado. Greenwald, an American who works for Britain’s Guardian newspaper and lives in Rio de Janeiro, was the journalist who first revealed classified documents provided by Snowden, outlining the extent of U.S. communications monitoring activity at home and abroad.
The Globo article can be found here, translated for all by
Glenn Greenwald himself Google.
Meanwhile, over at The Guardian, GG is setting himself up, as always, as the greatest protector of civil liberties ever.