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Brazil senate committee to probe U.S. spying

English.news.cn   2013-09-04 09:39:56            
 • Brazil's Senate formed a committee to follow up on reports NSA spied on President Dilma Rousseff.
 • The committee initially has 180 days to investigate claims.
 • New revelations disclosed NSA spied on the highest levels of Brazil's government.


BRASILIA, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Senate formed an Investigative Parliamentary Commission Tuesday to follow up on reports that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spied on President Dilma Rousseff.

"We intend to protect national sovereignty," said Senator Vanessa Graziotin, of the Communist Party of Brazil (CPB).

The committee, composed of 11 main members and seven substitutes, initially has 180 days to investigate claims the NSA monitored emails between Rousseff and several of her top aides, and tapped her phone.

The investigative period can be extended by another 180 days if the commission needs more time.

As the committee's first order of business, members discussed the possibility of the state providing federal protection for Rio de Janeiro-based journalist Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda, considering them to be key witnesses in the investigation.

Greenwald was the first to break the story of Washington's global spying program, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. on espionage charges for revealing the surveillance scheme, has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

Miranda was recently interrogated for nine hours at London's Heathrow airport as he traveled from Germany to Brazil, and had his belongings confiscated. British officials said they were operating under an anti-terror law, but Greenwald said he believed it was an attempt to intimidate.

The Senate's decision to open an investigation follows the broadcast Sunday of a Brazilian television news program reporting the NSA spied on the highest levels of Brazil's government, even targeting the president.

That report was also based on documents leaked by Snowden and made public by Greenwald.

News of NSA spying on Brazil first broke in July, when Brazil's O Globo daily published articles alleging the agency had monitored digital communications and phone calls.

Washington has maintained that the spy program is designed to thwart terrorism, but Brazil says it suspects industrial espionage and has demanded an written official response from the U.S. government by Friday.

Rousseff is reportedly considering cancelling a scheduled trip to Washington next month if she receives no answer or an unsatisfactory explanation from the U.S. government.


Brazilian president consults cabinet on new U.S. spy claims

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday called an emergency meeting with several cabinet members to discuss new revelations about U.S. intelligence agencies spying on personal emails between the president and several of her ministers.

The U.S. ambassador to Brasilia, Thomas Shannon, was called in the same day to explain the latest spying claims, marking the second time he has been summoned to explain the blanket U.S. spying.    Full story

Brazil says latest U.S. spying revelations "unacceptable" if true

BRASILIA, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Brazil said Monday it considered claims the U.S. spied on President Dilma Rousseff to be "very serious," and, if proved, were "an inadmissible and unacceptable violation of sovereignty."

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo and Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo told a press conference after an emergency meeting with Rousseff they expected a formal written response from the U.S. government.    Full story

More illegal NSA spying activities leaked

BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- More illegal spying activities conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) have been leaked to the world after former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden first blew the whistle in June.

Newly-revealed victims include presidents of Mexico and Brazil, France's Foreign Ministry and diplomats, as well as the UN headquarters in New York.   Full story

Editor: Liu Dan
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