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Any Petrobras spying has economic motive: Rousseff

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 10:52

Rio De Janeiro: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has again demanded answers from the US government after a new report about National Security Agency spying on Brazil.

The report broadcast by the Globo TV network Sunday night, based on leaked documents from Edward Snowden, said the NSA targeted Brazil`s state-run oil firm Petrobras. That came a week after a report on Globo indicated that the communications of Rousseff herself were intercepted by the NSA.

The new Globo report also said Google and the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, an organization better known as SWIFT that oversees international bank transfers thought to be secure transactions, were targeted by the NSA.

The report gave no indication about what information the NSA may have obtained from the companies. All three companies are included in an NSA training manual for new agents on how to target the private computer networks of big companies, the report said.

"If the facts in the report are confirmed, then it`s evident that the motive for the ... Espionage is not security or to fight terrorism, but economic and strategic interests," Rousseff said in an emailed statement yesterday.

Rousseff met with US President Barack Obama last week in Russia during a Group of 20 meeting. She said Obama promised to provide explanations about the NSA program by this Wednesday.

"The Brazilian government is determined to obtain clarifications from the US government about any possible violations committed," her statement said.

Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo traveled to the US from Europe yesterday and he is expected to meet Wednesday or Thursday with Obama`s national security adviser, Susan Rice, to hear explanations of the NSA program, the foreign ministry said.

Petrobras said in an emailed statement that it was aware of Globo`s report and that it takes the most up-to-date precautions available to protect its computer network.

Earlier reports based on Snowden`s documents revealed the existence of the NSA`s PRISM program, which gives the agency comprehensive access to customer data from companies like Google and Facebook.

Separate reports last week in the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica, also based on Snowden`s leak, said the NSA and its British counterpart had developed "new access opportunities" into Google`s computers by 2012, but the documents didn`t indicate how extensive the project was or what kind of data it could access.

James Clapper, director of US national intelligence, said in a statement that "it is not a secret that the Intelligence Community collects information about economic and financial matters, and terrorist financing."


First Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 10:52
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