NSA spied on leaders of Brazil, Mexico

2013-09-02 08:02
Edward Snowden (File, AFP)

Edward Snowden (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rio de Janeiro - The National Security Agency's spy program targeted the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, and in the case of Mexico's leader accessed the content of emails before he was elected, the US journalist who obtained secret documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden said on Sunday.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, told Globo's news program "Fantastico" that a document dated June 2012 shows that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's emails were being read. The document's date is a month before Pena Nieto was elected.

The document on which Greenwald based the report includes communications from Pena Nieto indicating who he would like to name to some government posts among other information. It's not clear if the spying continues.

As for Brazil's leader, the June 2012 document "doesn't include any of Dilma's specific intercepted messages, the way it does for Nieto," Greenwald told The Associated Press in an email. "But it is clear in several ways that her communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats."

The US targeting mapped out the aides with whom Rousseff communicated and went a level further by tracking patterns of how those aides communicated with one another and also third parties, according to the document.

Calls to Rousseff's office and a spokesperson were not answered. Messages sent to a spokesperson for Pena Nieto weren't immediately returned. Mexico's Foreign Ministry said had no comment.

Increased tensions

Brazilian Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo told the newspaper O Globo that "if the facts of the report are confirmed, they would be considered very serious and would constitute a clear violation of Brazil's sovereignty".

"This is completely outside the standard of confidence expected of a strategic partnership, as the US and Brazil have," he added.

In July, Greenwald co-wrote articles in O Globo that said documents leaked by Snowden indicate Brazil was the largest target in Latin America for the NSA program, which collected data on billions of emails and calls flowing through Brazil.

The Brazilian government denounced the NSA activities outlined in the earlier reports.

Greenwald reported then that the NSA collected the data through an undefined association between US and Brazilian telecommunications companies. He said he could not verify which Brazilian companies were involved or if they were aware their links were being used to collect the data.

Greenwald began writing stories based on material leaked by Snowden in May, mostly for the Guardian newspaper in Britain.

Before news of the NSA program broke, the White House announced that Rousseff would be honoured with a state dinner in October during a trip to the US, the only such full state dinner scheduled this year for a foreign leader. The move highlighted the US desire to build on improved relations since Rousseff took the presidency on 1 January 2011.

Rousseff's office said last week that there were no plans to scrap the state dinner because of the NSA program.

The latest revelations were sure to increase tensions, coming on the heels of last month's detention of Greenwald's partner, Brazilian citizen David Miranda, who was held for nearly nine hours at London's Heathrow airport.

British authorities stopped him as he was transiting through the airport, citing their ability to do so under anti-terrorism legislation. The US government was notified beforehand that Miranda was to be stopped as he returned home to Brazil after visiting Germany, where he met with Laura Poitras, a US filmmaker who works with Greenwald on the NSA stories.

Miranda had some of the pair's NSA documents leaked by Snowden on memory disks.

Last week, senior British national security adviser Oliver Robbins offered a sweeping view of the government concerns about those documents before Britain's High Court, saying the 58 000 classified British documents were "highly likely" to describe techniques used in counter-terrorism operations and could reveal the identities of British intelligence officers abroad.

Guardian Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger dismissed the statement as containing "unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims," and questioned the danger, arguing that the government had done little to address the issue before Miranda's detention.

After Miranda's detention, Greenwald promised he was going "to write much more aggressively than before" about government snooping.

Read more on:    nsa  |  david miranda  |  dilma rousseff  |  edward snowden  |  us  |  mexico  |  brazil  |  privacy

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.