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Brazil criticizes Canada over spying reports

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Brazil has strongly criticized Canada over reports of spying on the country’s mining and energy ministry.

On Monday, President Dilma Rousseff said her country seeks explanations from Canadian officials over the issue.

She added that new revelations about the espionage activities by the US and its allies prove that economic motives are behind the move.

The president called on Washington and Ottawa to stop the “inadmissible” practice.

“This is inadmissible on the part of countries which want to be partners. We reject cyber-warfare,” she said, adding, “The United States and its allies must urgently end their spying activities once and for all.”

Brazil’s foreign ministry has also summoned the Canadian ambassador to convey its strong protest.

The new disclosure was reported by Brazilian Globo television on Sunday and was based on leaked documents by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents showed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had made a detailed outline of the Brazilian ministry’s communications including phone calls, emails, and internet traffic.

Brazil’s Mining and Energy Minister Edilson Lobao described the revelations as “serious” and said that it has possibly been spied on due to Canadian companies’ mining interests in the country.

Moreover, Brazilian newspaper O Globo revealed in July, citing documents leaked by Snowden, that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has gathered metadata on billions of emails, phone calls and other internet data flowing through Brazil.

The US spying revelations on Brazil have greatly strained the relationship between the two countries and caused Rousseff to cancel last month a visit to Washington.

Brazil has announced that it plans to bypass the US-centric internet, with measures including storing data locally and to lay underwater fiber optic cable directly to Europe and all the South American nations in order to create a network free of US surveillance.

Rousseff spoke recently at the United Nations General Assembly, calling for international regulations on data privacy and limiting espionage programs targeting the Internet.

Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Russia on August 1, has been charged in the United States with espionage and theft of government property after leaking documents that revealed the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been secretly gathering information of people in both the US and all around the world.


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