US National Security Agency

NSA tapping data on energy issues across Latin America

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 3:46am

A US spy programme is widely targeting data in e-mails and telephone calls across Latin America, and is focusing on energy issues, not just information related to military, political or terror topics, a Brazilian newspaper reported.

The O Globo newspaper said it had access to some of the documents released by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based American journalist who obtained the classified information from Snowden, is helping write stories for the daily.

O Globo published what it said were slides that Snowden released indicating the US effort was gathering information on energy in Mexico and oil in Venezuela. There was no information released about what information was obtained, nor any companies that were targeted.

The report also said that Colombia, the strongest US military ally in South America, along with Mexico and Brazil, were the countries where the US programme intercepted the biggest chunks of information on e-mails and telephone calls during the last five years. Similar activities took place in Argentina, Ecuador and other countries.

O Globo also reported that documents it had seen indicated the US had data collection centres in 2002 for material intercepted from satellites in Bogota, Caracas, Mexico City and Panama City, along with Brasilia. There was no information published about the existence of these centres after 2002.

Earlier, O Globo reported that in Brazil, the NSA collected data through an association between US and Brazilian telecommunications companies. It said it could not verify which companies were involved or if they were even aware their links were being used to collect the data.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said such activities violated the nation's sovereignty, and that Brazil would take up the issue up at the United Nations.