International

NSA spied on Brazil, Mexico leaders, Greenwald says

Guardian journalist who broke NSA surveillance story says the agency compromised emails of Latin American heads of state

NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters

The National Security Agency's spy program targeted the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, and in the case of Mexico's leader accessed the content of emails before he was elected, said the journalist who obtained secret documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist who lives in Rio de Janeiro, told the news program "Fantastico'' in an interview that a document dated June 2012 shows that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's emails were being read. The document is dated a month before Pena Nieto was elected.

Greenwald said the document includes Pena Nieto’s communications indicating whom he would like to name to some Cabinet posts, along with other information. It is not clear if the alleged spying continues.

In the case of Brazil's leader, Dilma Rousseff, the June 2012 document "doesn't include any of Dilma's specific intercepted messages, the way it does for Nieto,'' Greenwald told The Associated Press in an email.

"But it is clear in several ways that her communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats.''

Calls to Rousseff's office and a spokeswoman were not answered. Messages sent to a spokesman for Pena Nieto were not immediately returned.

Brazilian Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo told the newspaper O Globo that "if the facts of the report are confirmed, they would be considered very serious and would constitute a clear violation of Brazil's sovereignty.''

"This is completely outside the standard of confidence expected of a strategic partnership, as the U.S. and Brazil have,'' he said.

In July, Greenwald co-wrote articles in O Globo that said documents leaked by Snowden indicate Brazil was the largest target in Latin America for the NSA program, which collected data on billions of emails and calls flowing through Brazil.

The Brazilian government denounced the NSA activities outlined in the earlier reports.

Greenwald began writing stories based on material leaked by Snowden in May, mostly for the Guardian newspaper in Britain.

Before news of the NSA program broke, the White House announced that Rousseff would be honored with a state dinner in October during a trip to the United States -- the only such full state dinner scheduled this year for a foreign leader. 

The news comes days after German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Saturday that the NSA had penetrated Al Jazeera emails.

The Associated Press

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