Report: Canadian spies targeted Brazil's Mines and Energy Ministry -

Report: Canadian spies targeted Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry


RIO DE JANEIRO – A Brazilian television report that aired Sunday night said Canadian spies targeted Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry.

The report on Globo television was based on documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and was the latest showing that Latin America’s biggest country has been a target for U.S., British and now Canadian spy agencies.

The report said the metadata of phone calls and emails from and to the Brazilian ministry were targeted by the Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CSEC, to map the ministry’s communications, using a software program called Olympia. It didn’t indicate whether emails were read or phone calls were listened to.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper would neither confirm nor deny the allegations when asked to respond to the report late Sunday night.

The “CSEC does not comment on its specific foreign intelligence activities or capabilities,” said Harper’s communications director Jason MaDdonald.

Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao told Globo that “Canada has interests in Brazil, above all in the mining sector. I can’t say if the spying served corporate interests or other groups.”

American journalist Glenn Greenwald, based in Rio de Janeiro, worked with Globo on its report. Greenwald broke the first stories about the NSA’s global spy program focusing on Internet traffic and phone calls.

Globo previously reported that the communications of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and also state-run oil company Petrobras were targeted by NSA spying.

Earlier, Greenwald wrote articles in the O Globo newspaper saying that the NSA was gathering metadata on billions of emails, phone calls and other Internet data flowing through Brazil, an important transit point for global communications.

The fallout over the spy programs led Rousseff last month to cancel a planned visit to the U.S., where she was to be the guest of honour for a state dinner.

Rousseff last month spoke at the United Nations General Assembly and called for international regulations on data privacy and limiting espionage programs targeting the Internet.

With files from The Canadian Press


Report: Canadian spies targeted Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry

  1. What a fantastic way to ensure that our Canadian mining companies will be banned from Brazil. Thanks, CSEC!

    • On whose behalf do you think the spying was carried for?

      This stinks of Harper and Co using public resources to help out his private sector buddies yet again. Where do we, the tax paying public, stand to benefit from this?

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if some Canadian companies are banned in a few other South American countries – just remember that they are building their own political and trading bloc and they can discuss who is a good partner or not. Companies from other countries, particularly those appearing more transparent (Europeans perhaps?), might be given priority when doing business in the region. Also remember that it is events like this one that leaders in the region use an excuse when they want to nationalize certain industries.

      Countries in the region may or may not trust the US, but they have fully trusted Canada. Trust is an extremely important component in human relations, especially when conducting business. Now with this incident, our reputation has been tainted, and trust might have been disrupted – what do you think is going to happen next?

  2. I’m sure this will make us a lot of friends.

  3. “Canadian” (chances are they really ain’t) mining corps are already greeted with
    love and affection on at least three continents. Some people are even dying
    from all the love.