Founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks Julian Assange says the US National Security Agency intercepts almost all communications in the South American continent.
“Ninety-eight percent of Latin American communications are intercepted by the NSA while passing through the United States to the world,” Assange told the Chilean media on Tuesday.
He highlighted the role of Google and Facebook in the agency’s data collection program.
“They are physically in the United States and therefore under their legal jurisdiction, with punitive laws used to force them to hand over the information they are collecting,” Assange said.
Over the weekend, WikiLeaks disclosed documents that indicate the NSA spied on several key Brazilian government officials, including President Dilma Rousseff, her secretary and her chief of staff.
The NSA eavesdropped on 29 Brazilian government phone numbers, listening to conversations taking place on the president’s office line and her presidential jet phone, as well as on phones of Brazil’s foreign minister, ambassadors and military chiefs, according to the documents.
“Our publication today shows the US has a long way to go to prove its dragnet surveillance on ‘friendly’ governments is over,” Assange wrote in a statement.
“The US has not just [been] targeting Rousseff but the key figures she talks to everyday,” he said.
The NSA also spied on Brazil’s ambassadors to the US, Germany, France, Switzerland and the European Union.
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