cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 10:33:14 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Canadian spies targeted Brazil's mines ministry: report



An employee works on the final stage of the construction of the new P-56 semi-submersible production platform for the oil company Petrobas at the Brasfels shipyard in Angra dos Reis, about 115 miles (© 184 km)

An employee works on the final stage of the construction of the new P-56 semi-submersible production platform for the oil company Petrobas at the Brasfels shipyard in Angra dos Reis, about 115 miles (184 km) west of Rio de Janeiro, February 24, 2011. The P-56 will be positioned at depths of 1,700 meters (1.05 miles) and about 124 km (77 miles) off the coast. It will have a processing capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil and 5.2 million m3 of natural gas per day, said the Petrobras company. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS) - RTR2J2HG Sergio Moraes/Reuters

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.

- What do we know about Canada's eavesdropping agency?

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 MacDonald.

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.

more video