Petrobras says US may well have spied on its information

09 September 2013 23:46  [Source: ICIS news]

CAMPINAS, Brazil (ICIS)--Brazil Petrobras admitted on Monday that the US National Security Agency (NSA) could have accessed data from the company, the energy producer said.

"About 90% of the external messages Petrobras receives are disregarded for presenting potential damaging characteristics. Those characteristics could have, eventually, allowed access to data from Petrobras," the company said in a statement.

The accusations against the NSA came public on Sunday after a Brazilian television programme showed Petrobras documents that were supposedly spied on by the US government.

The programme, Globo TV, said it obtained the classified documents from Edward Snowden, the former NSA intelligence contractor who defected to Russia.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said in statement that Petrobras does not represent a threat to the security of any country, but it does represent one of the world's biggest oil assets.

"This way, if confirmed the facts divulged by the press, it's evident that the reason of the attempts of violation and espionage is not the security or the combat of terrorism, but economic and strategic interests," she said.

Rousseff said the Brazilian government is trying to obtain clarification from the US government about the alleged violations and will require concrete measures to avoid future violations of the country’s sovereignty or spying on its economic interests.

Allegations of the NSA spying on countries such as Brazil have emerged since Snowden fled the US in May and leaked information to UK newspaper The Guardian, which ran a series of exposes.

The allegations have led to a chilling of the relationship between Rousseff and US President Barack Obama, and a state visit by Rousseff to the North American country set for October currently is up in the air.

By: Leo Siqueira
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