Monday, 2 September 2013

BRAZIL-U.S.: ''Report'': NSA targeted Brazil, Mexico & France

The US National Security Agency spied on the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, accessing the Mexico leader's emails before he was elected, Brazil's Globo television reported and a new document obtained by the German Newspaper ''The Spiegel'' reveals that the NSA also spied on the French Foreign Ministry.

Rio de Janeiro-based journalist Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for the Guardian newspaper who obtained secret files from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, told Globo on Sunday that a document dated June 2012 shows that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's emails were being accessed.
That was a month before his election. The NSA also intercepted some of Pena Nieto's voicemails. The communications included messages in which the future leader discussed the names of potential cabinet members.

As for Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, the NSA said in the document that it was trying to better understand her methods of communication and interlocutors using a program to access all Internet content the president visited online.

Rousseff, who is due to make a state visit to Washington in October, held a working meeting to study the revelations in the Globo report, the channel said. "If these facts prove to be true, it would be unacceptable and could be called an attack on our country's sovereignty," Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said.

The NSA program allows agents to access the entire communications network of the president and her staff, including telephone, Internet and social network exchanges. Cardozo met with US Vice President Joe Biden in Washington last week to discuss the matter. The United States have rejected a Brazilian offer to negotiate a bilateral agreement on surveillance. In July, Greenwald co-wrote articles in O Globo revealing that the US had a joint NSA-CIA base in Brazil to gather data on emails and calls flowing through the country.

Dated June 2010, the "top secret" NSA document reveals that the intelligence agency was particularly interested in the diplomats' computer network. All of the country's embassies and consulates are connected with the Paris headquarters via a virtual private network (VPN), technology that is generally considered to be secure.

As for France, an overview lists different web addresses tapped into by the NSA, among them "diplomatie.gouv.fr," which was run from the Foreign Ministry's server. A list from September 2010 says that French diplomatic offices in Washington and at the United Nations in New York were also targeted, and given the codenames "Wabash" and "Blackfoot," respectively. NSA technicians installed bugs in both locations and conducted a "collection of computer screens" at the one at the UN.

A priority list also names France as an official target for the intelligence agency. In particular, the NSA was interested in the country's foreign policy objectives, especially the weapons trade, and economic stability.

By Guylain Gustave Moke
Political Analyst/Writer
Investigative Journalist

Photo-Credit: AFP- Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff