Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil summons Canadian envoy over spy claims

Brazil's Foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo
Image caption Brazil's Foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, said he was 'indignant'

Brazil has summoned the Canadian ambassador for explanations over the latest electronic spying accusations leaked by the former US intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.

Canadian intelligence monitored communications of the mines and energy ministry, Brazilian TV Globo reported.

President Dilma Rousseff wrote on Twitter the US and its allies "must stop spying activities immediately."

Recent reports have suggested that she had also been a target of US spies.

Brazil's Foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, said he has told the Canadian ambassador in Brasilia, Jamal Khokhar, that he was "indignant."

"The government expresses its repudiation of this serious and unacceptable violation of the national sovereignty and of people's and company's rights," the minister's statement read.

'Cyber warfare'

On Sunday evening, a popular TV show, which had already broadcast spying allegations involving President Rousseff and the Brazilian oil company Petrobras, aired the the latest leaks revealed by the Rio de Janeiro-based American journalist Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for Britain's Guardian newspaper.

Canadian officials told their US, British, New Zealand and Australian counterparts – the group reportedly known as Five Eyes – that they had successfully monitored a communications network of the mines and energy ministry, the report said.

The network is said to be frequently used in exchanges between the ministry, energy and oil agencies and the state oil and energy companies.

Writing on Twitter shortly after Sunday's report was aired, President Dilma Rousseff demanded a change by the US authorities and noted that she had already criticised the spying at the United Nations General Assembly, in September.

She also instructed the ministry to step up the security measures surrounding its networks.

On Monday, Ms Rousseff used the social media network to say that the activities were "inadmissible among countries that aim to be partners."

"We repudiate the cyber warfare," she wrote.

Image caption At the UN, President Rousseff said she would take measures to protect Brazil

Speaking at the opening of the UN General Assembly, Ms Rousseff said Brazil would adopt legislation and technology to protect itself from illegal intercepts.

She called Washington's argument that spying on Brazil helped protect against terrorism "untenable".

"Brazil, Mr President, knows how to protect itself," she said.

Earlier this month, she cancelled a planned visit to Washington.

Ms Rousseff asked the UN to play a leading role in regulating electronic technology and said Brazil would present proposals for a "civilian multilateral framework" for the governance and use of the internet and to protect web-based data.

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