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Brazil Investigating U.S. Spy Allegations

posted 9 Jul 2013, 04:36 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 Jul 2013, 04:37 ]

Brazil's telecommunications agency opens probe as Brazil investigates allegations U.S. spy agencies monitored electronic communications of Brazilian companies and citizens, communications minister says.

BRASILIABRAZIL (JULY 28, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Brazilian Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo on Monday (July 8) said the government was investigating allegations that United States spy agencies had been monitoring electronic communications of Brazilian citizens for at least a decade.

Brazil's telecommunications agency also said on Monday it would investigate whether local operators had violated customer privacy rules.

"I want to say the following. We have to investigate this. The federal police are going to do an inquiry. The ANATEL (Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications) opened a procedure to investigate all of this. We are going to examine it. Look, this issue, in my opinion, has to be dealt with multilaterally. Other countries have to take part," Bernardo said.

On Sunday (July 7) the Globo daily newspaper reported 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.

Some access to Brazilian communications was obtained through American companies that were partners with Brazilian telecommunications companies, the paper reported, without identifying the companies.

"This is a crime and we are going to investigate it. It is confirmed, we are going to look at all the measures characterized in this crime," said Bernardo.

The South American country also plans to present proposals to the United Nationsto protect the privacy of electronic communication.

"The governance of the Internet can't remain concentrated exclusively in the hands of the Americans. I spoke with the American authorities several times. I spoke with the ambassador today. We believe the Internet is a global communications tool and should be governed multilaterally. For instance, if you want to talk about health, do it via the World Health Organization," added Bernardo.

The Globo article was written by Glenn GreenwaldRoberto Kaz and Jose Casado. Greenwald, an American who works for Britain's Guardian newspaper and lives inRio 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.

After providing the information to Greenwald, Snowden fled the United States for Hong Kong and was most recently seen in the transit area of the Moscow airport.

Snowden's U.S. passport has been revoked. He has made asylum requests to several countries, including EcuadorVenezuela and Bolivia. Three countries -BoliviaVenezuela and Nicaragua - have offered to give Snowden asylum.