BRASÍLIA – President Dilma Rousseff on Monday hit out at alleged Canadian spying on Brazil’s Mining and Energy Ministry, demanding that the United States and its allies stop such practices.
She said on her Twitter account that revelations aired by Globo television Sunday that the energy ministry was targeted by Canadian intelligence “confirm the economic and strategic motives” behind the electronic espionage.
Rousseff said Brasilia wanted explanations from Ottawa, which has mining interests in her country.
“This is inadmissible on the part of countries which want to be partners. We reject cyber-warfare,” she said.
Canada’s Ambassador Jamal Khokhar to Brazil on Monday was summoned to the foreign ministry, where Brasilia’s chief diplomat Luiz Alberto Figueiredo delivered a strong protest and demanded an explanation.
Figueiredo expressed his government’s condemnation of “this serious and unacceptable violation of national sovereignty and the rights of people and companies.”
But Ottawa stayed silent on the report, with defense ministry spokeswoman Julie Dimambro only saying: “We do not comment on foreign intelligence gathering activities.”
Sunday’s Globo report followed earlier disclosures, also based on documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, that the US National Security Agency snooped on Rousseff’s communications with her aides, on phone call and email data of millions of Brazilians as well as on state-run energy giant Petrobras.
“The United States and its allies must urgently end their spying activities once and for all,” said Rousseff, who last month canceled a state visit to the United States scheduled for October 23, in protest against Washington’s cyber-spying.
Globo cited leaked documents, purportedly from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, showing a detailed outline of the Brazilian ministry’s communications including phone calls, email and Internet traffic.
It said Snowden obtained the documents at a June 2012 meeting of intelligence analysts from the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, a group known as the “Five Eyes.”
A Canadian software spying program named Olympia “mapped” the Brazilian ministry’s phone communications and computers with the goal of studying contacts “made with other groups, within and outside of Brazil, aside from Petrobras,” Globo said.
One of the documents shows a registry of calls from the ministry to other countries, including to the Quito, Ecuador-based Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) and the Brazilian embassy in Peru.
Communications between the ministry and countries in the Middle East, as well as South Africa and Canada, also appear in the report.
In a Twitter message on Sunday Rousseff said Brazil will introduce a measure at the United Nations to establish an “international civilian framework” to protect the privacy of internet users.
Snowden, a 30-year-old former NSA contractor who has sought refuge in Russia, is wanted by the United States after revealing details of the agency’s massive snooping activities.