Snowden offers spying help to Brazil in exchange for asylum
12:52, — in the world
US whistleblower Edward Snowden is willing to help Brazil’s government investigate NSA spying on its soil if the South American state grants him political asylum.
In an “open letter to the people of Brazil” Snowden praises the Brazilian government for what he describes as a strong stand against US spying.
Snowden claims that the US government “will continue to interfere with my ability to speak” and, therefore, in order to help Brazil he must be granted political asylum.
He also says he feels inspired by the global debate ignited by his release of thousands of National Security Agency documents.
Brazil monitored by NSA
The first revelations about the NSA’s spy programs were published in June. They were based on some of the thousands of documents Snowden handed over to the Brazil-based American journalist Glenn Greenwald and his reporting partner Laura Poitras, an American filmmaker.
These documents revealed that Brazil is the top NSA target in Latin America.
According to the documents, spying in the country has included the monitoring of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s cellphone and hacking into the internal network of state-run oil company Petrobras.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled an official visit to Washington in October after the documents were published. The visit included a state dinner.
Also, she recommended that the United Nations give citizens more protection against spying, Euronews reports.
In its explanations to the Brazilian government and others affected the NSA claims that the bulk of the metadata gathered on billions of emails and calls was more “data collection” than surveillance.
In his letter, Snowden dismisses all these attempts at justification.
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