RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The relationship between Brazil and the United States strained again on Monday after reports surfaced that Brazil's state oil and gas giant Petrobras was a prime target of U.S. government spying activity.
The latest revelations were aired Sunday night on TV news show "Fantastico", which revealed a week earlier that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spied on the private communications of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, who was in Geneva for a meeting, reportedly left the city in a hurry earlier Monday and headed to Washington D.C., where he is expected to meet with U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
The spying on Petrobras concerns Brazil a lot because of its newly discovered off-shore oil reserves.
Petrobras, which made the discovery and mapped the reserves, is the world's leading expert in deep-water oil exploration, with its knowledge of the field worth a fortune. In October, Brazil is set to open the bidding on its Libra oilfield, estimated to have reserves of 15 billion barrels of oil, doubling Brazil's current known reserves.
Petrobras' former director Roberto Villa said in an interview Sunday that if data collected by Petrobras was leaked to one or more companies, those firms would have an illegal advantage in the bidding process.
The leaked documents do not show the extent of the espionage, or even whether the NSA was successful in stealing information from Petrobras.
Early Monday, Petrobras'former CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli, who stepped down last year, said the company has been the target of several data hacking attempts, but its servers are "very well protected."
Sunday's revelations, based on documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, said NSA workers attended presentations that detailed the agency's surveillance of several major companies around the world, including Petrobras.
The documents contradict Washington's previous claims that its global surveillance scheme is exclusively designed to combat terrorism, as the snooping looks more like industrial espionage.
In response, the NSA made a statement denying it spies on Petrobras' or any other companies'trade secrets, but failed to explain why the company's name appears in the documents.
Last week, Rousseff talked with U.S. President Barack Obama at a G20 meeting hosted by Russia, and said Obama promised to present a full explanation on the matter by Wednesday.
However, the news that Petrobras was targeted may add to the complexity of the issue.
Rousseff, who canceled a scheduled trip by her advance team last week, indicated she may scrap an official visit to the United States, scheduled for October, unless Washington offers a satisfactory explanation.
The spying scandal may also impact Brazil's acquisition of 36 fighter jets from the United States.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff issued an official statement Monday specially on the latest news that U.S. Security Agency (NSA) spied on Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras, demanding again explanations from the U.S. government.
Rousseff said in the statement that if the latest news are indeed proven, they will confirm that the U.S. motivation has nothing to do with self-protection, but everything to do with economic and strategic interests. Full story
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). Full story
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
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
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