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Greenwald reveals NSA surveillance of Brazil and Mexico presidents

Greenwald reveals NSA surveillance of Brazil and Mexico presidents

The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has since early June been reporting on leaked documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, told a Brazilian television program Sunday that the NSA read emails of the Presidents of Brazil and Mexico.

From NBC News:

Glenn Greenwald told Globo news program “Fantastico” that a document dated June 2012, showed that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails were being read one month before he was elected to office.

Greenwald, who writes for the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper but lives in Rio de Janeiro, said the emails included communications from Nieto indicating who he would name in his Cabinet.

He also reported that the NSA collected the data through an undefined association between U.S. and Brazilian telecommunications companies.

The journalist told the Associated Press, in an email, that the document did not contain any specific messages intercepted from Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff.

However, it did reveal which aides she had communicated with, and tracked patterns of how those aides communicated among one another and with third parties.

The report drew condemnation from the Brazilian government and demands for an explanation from the White House, and a news outlet in Brazil is reporting that President Dilma Rousseff is considering canceling an upcoming trip to the US.

From the Washington Post:

In a sign that fallout over the spy program is spreading, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that President Dilma Rousseff is considering canceling her October trip to the U.S., where she has been scheduled to be honored with a state dinner. Folha cited unidentified Rousseff aides. The president’s office declined to comment.

The Foreign Ministry called in U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon and told him Brazil expects the White House to provide a prompt written explanation over the espionage allegations.

Mexico similarly expressed its concerns to the U.S. ambassador and the U.S. administration, according to the Post.

Greenwald also wrote in July, in The Guardian and in Brazilian newspaper O Globo, that the US spied on millions of emails and calls of Brazilians by partnering with a large unnamed US telecommunications company that in turn partners with other telecommunications companies in foreign countries.

That report prompted the Brazilian government to say that it would pressure the United Nations to take measures to protect the privacy of international internet communications, according to a July New York Times article.

Once again, these latest NSA leaks seem less focused on protecting the privacy of American citizens and more on exposing the activities of foreign intelligence operations.

Someone else noticed that, too.


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At which point does this turn into treason, and they send Dog the bounty hunter to kidnap him out of Brazil?

I understood that this stuff went on, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to hear about it.

    Snowden didn’t reveal this, Greenwald did. He’s not a US citizen, hence no treason. Snowden may have erred as Bradley Manning did, it giving Greenwald too much information, but I don’t think his personal action rises to the level of treason quite yet. I wouldn’t be against him getting the same type of sentence as Btadley Manning got though. He did go beyond whistleblowing, in my honest opinion.

    It is, however, EXTREMELY embarrassing, but that’s PAR FOR THE COURSE (Had to use a gold metaphor!) for the Obama administration.

So intelligence agencies gather intel about all sorts of countries and leaders?

Johnson, stop the presses!

It’s hard to know who’s most hypocritical here, Greenwald, Snowden, Rousseff, or Obama. There’s quite a spread.

Uhhh, I expect our government to keep an eye on all kinds of things. It’s rude to do it, and embarrassing to be exposed, and absolutely necessary in the world in which we live. All counties do this if they can, and sometimes they pass one another friendly warnings.

Snowden is a hero, regardless of whether he gets prosecuted. If it wasn’t for him, none of us would have any idea just how little of a republic we have left.

Just remember, we too broke to have tours of the White House but we are planning on using about 200 million bucks worth of missiles on Syria. Which of course won’t be replaced so we’ll be that much weaker.

casualobserver | September 3, 2013 at 7:54 am

It’s my understanding that the release of this information about Mexico and Brazil has occurred just before a planned high level meeting with the President of Brazil. Seems to me that Greenwald has long since shifted from some altruistic “expose the truth” pattern to one of deliberate vindictive behavior. In this case he seems to be avenging the detainment of his partner. Still.

Hard to keep any positive view on Snowden when he has allied himself with such a character.

I’m not convinced this release is a big deal, as I would think most heads of state would expect other nations would spy on them, especially the biggest and most engaged on the world state. But the release certainly puts Brazil in an inconvenient position publicly. It just cannot be ignored.

Before slinging the TREASON word/charge around you should very carefully read the U.S. Constitution. Treason is very closely defined and to commit Treason is a very high bar, by design.

Every country with a functional brain in government knows exactly what NSA is and was doing, it is only the general world public which has been kept in the dark. When some foreign country gets up on their hind legs and stars braying that is just phony outrage for local consumption.

    casualobserver in reply to OldNuc. | September 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

    To me this is a prime example where public versus private reaction will be completely different. For anyone, even the U.S. or Russia, to expect their leaders to be free from the most covert and technologically sophisticated spying is just plain silly. If it were not the case in the U.S., for example, why spend so much money and effort creating spy-free areas within the White House for meetings and debriefings?

“I hope Greenwald is wearing an aluminum foil wrapped hardhat at all times,” droned Henry.

It’s not treason, Brazil and Mexico are not our enemies, they are simply our neighbors and we are spying on them. I don’t find it surprising, but I think its probably necessary. I communicate regularly with foreigners, including Brazilians and Mexicans and on and on, and I find it very disgusting that my 4th Amendment rights are being violated by the NSA copying all my emails. They have no right to do this. Maybe this will spur these governments in scuttling these illegal wiretaps and restore my rights.

As someone who does data warehousing, storage, processing, mining etc for a living, I find the whole program really stupid. They are hoping that they are going to in the future, find a needle and then be able to track back through time in this huge pile of data to connect the dots. This is absurd. You can certainly build a system that “buffers” the internet, but you will never be able to store it long term because every day the buffer grows the problem grows exponentially, and your ability to access it “live” drops. You’ll drown under the giant mess.

I also particularly distasteful, as we have learned, the government has been using the information it has gained illegally to conduct criminal prosecutions. It so far has not been used to set wrongfully imprisoned men free. I can think of under no lawful interpretation of the constitution where the government can keep evidence that would free an innocent man that it wrongly convicted or prosecuted him for, but they do so. this is outrageous.

Rick the Curmudgeon | September 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm

imfine, do you think the NSA could be bothered to dig up some e-mails reagarding Operation Fast & Furious?