by Dorothy Kosich, Mineweb
October 8, 2013 (TSR) – A report aired Sunday night by Brazilian television says documents leaked by former U.S. National Security contractor Edward Snowden reveal Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry was targeted by the government of Canada’s spy agency, Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).
Phone calls, emails and internet use were mapped in detail, using the Olympia software program, according to Brazil’s Globo television.
Globo reported that the goal of the surveillance was to discover contacts made by the Mines and Energy Ministry to other agencies within and outside of Brazil, as well as companies such as Petrobas and Electrobas. The Canadian agency also accessed the internet communications between the ministry and countries including the Middle East, South Africa, and Canada.
Communications from the Ministry of Mines and Energy is stored in a safe room with steels walls, which is also disaster proof. The computer also holds files with all the information about Brazil’s energy and mineral resources. Globo said one of the servers is used by the ministry to speak to the National Petroleum Agency, Petrobas, Electrobras, the Energy Research Company (EPE), the National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM) and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.
While the main information on Brazil’s mineral reserves are public, the ministry guard strategic information on auction blocks for exploration and production of oil, as well as auctions of power plants.
Brazil’s Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao told Global that “Canada has interests in Brazil, above all in the mining sector. I can’t say if the spying served corporation interests or other groups.”
Late last month, Rousseff delivered a blistering attack on U.S. espionage at the UN General Assembly, accusing the National Security Agency of violating international law by its economic espionage targeted at Brazil’s strategic industries.
“Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately,” she told the UN. “Corporate information—often of high economic and even strategic value—was at the center of espionage activity.”
“Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and is an affront of the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations. A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation.”
Rousseff called on the UN to oversee a new global legal system to govern the internet.