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NSA Spied on Latin American Presidents

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Posted on Sep 2, 2013
redebrasilatual (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

The National Security Agency spied on the communications of presidents of Mexico and Brazil, according to a report produced by a Brazilian news program and co-authored by Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke news of President Obama’s spying program at the beginning of the summer.

The news is sure to anger leaders of Latin America’s two largest nations.

The report published late Sunday by Globo’s news program “Fantastico” was based on documents handed to Greenwald by NSA whistle-blower and fugitive Edward Snowden. Fantastico showed images of what it described as an NSA document dated June 2012 displaying messages written by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Nieto was a candidate at the time. The document was said to have contained the names of people he was considering for his presidential cabinet.

Another document showed detailed communications between Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her top advisers, the news program said. The files were reported to be part of an NSA case study showing how data could be “intelligently” filtered.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Justice minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo told the O Globo newspaper that the contents of the documents, if confirmed, “should be considered very serious and constitute a clear violation of Brazilian sovereignty.”

“This [spying] hits not only Brazil, but the sovereignty of several countries that could have been violated in a way totally contrary to what international law establishes,” Cardozo said.

Cardozo traveled last week to Washington and met with US vice president Joseph Biden and other officials, seeking more details on a previous, seemingly less serious set of disclosures by Snowden regarding US spying in Brazil. Rousseff is scheduled to make a formal state visit in October to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington, a trip intended to illustrate the warming in Brazil-US relations since she took office in 2011.

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