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Monday, July 8, 2013

Brazil to probe local telecom operators over alleged spying

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazil's telecommunications agency said it would investigate whether local operators had violated customer privacy rules in alleged surveillance of Brazilian telecommunications data by US spy agencies.

The decision came as US officials, including the American ambassador in Brasilia, sought to reassure Brazil following reports in the O Globo newspaper that the American Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency had gathered telephone and email data in Brazil and used Brazil-based equipment to do so.

The stories, on Sunday and Monday, were based on reporting from documents provided by Edward Snowden, the fugitive former American intelligence contractor, to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke the story of surveillance by the American government of telecommunications data in the US

Greenwald, an American citizen who lives in Rio de Janeiro, said on Sunday in a Twitter message that he had worked with O Globo on the reports to more quickly relay the scope and reach of the alleged surveillance. The bulk of Greenwald's stories thus far have appeared in the British newspaper, the Guardian.

Following the reports in O Globo, Brazil's government said it would press the United States for an "explanation."

"We don't agree with interference of that type, not just in Brazil, but in any other country," President Dilma Rousseff told reporters on Monday.

Brazil's communications minister Paulo Bernardo said that Thomas Shannon, the US ambassador in Brazil, told him in a meeting that the United States had not spied on Brazilian citizens or violated their privacy by gathering data on them from the Internet.

At a news conference, Bernardo said the ambassador acknowledged that the US government does monitor metadata from telephone calls, "but not in Brazil."

Shannon denied that Brazilian telecoms firms had cooperated in violating the privacy of Brazilians, the minister said.

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Tags:  brazil  telecom  us  spying  





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