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Brazil asks US to explain spying on citizens
July 8, 2013, 8:20 am

[Getty Images]

The Brazilian foreign minister says the country will ask the United States to explain the surveillance of its citizens [Getty Images]

Reacting to reports of US surveillance on its citizens, Brazil has announced it will propose changes to international communication rules of the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) based in Geneva.

Brazil will ask the United States to explain the surveillance of its citizens, asserted Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota on Sunday.

“The Brazilian government is gravely concerned by the news that electronic and telephone communications of Brazilian citizens are the objective of espionage efforts by US intelligence agencies,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Brazil’s O’Globo newspaper has published a report citing documents from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden which show that email and phone records of citizens and companies of Brazil have been under surveillance by the NSA.

“Brazil appears to stand out on maps of the US agency as a priority target for telephony and data traffic, alongside nations such as China, Russia and Pakistan,” said the news report.

The report was co-authored by Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The Brazilian foreign minister said on Sunday that an explanation would be sought about reports of a decade-long US spying programme against Brazilian citizens.

Brazil also plans to present proposals to the United Nations to protect the privacy of electronic communication.

The report by the Brazilian newspaper pointed out that in the Americas, Brazil was second only to the US in the number of transmissions intercepted by the NSA.

Brazilian telecom firms which had US partners were the access source of communication, according to the report.

The report did not reveal the names of the Brazilian firms.

Source: Agencies