Snowden's Latest Details U.S. Spying in Latin America

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 10 2013 9:43 AM

Snowden's Latest Leak Details U.S. Spying in Latin America

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Activists of the organization Campact demonstrate in front of the German Chancellery in support of fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, on July 4, 2013 in Berlin

Photo by Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

Edward Snowden is still (probably) in Moscow, where he may or may not be making plans to head to Venezuela. But that's not stopping his steady leaking of NSA information to the world's newspapers. He gave his latest scoop to Brazil's O Globo. My Portuguese is a little rusty—and by that I mean nonexistent—so I'll let the Washington Post do the translating:

A Brazilian newspaper on Tuesday published an article it said is based on documents provided by the former American contractor Edward Snowden asserting that the United States has been collecting data on telephone calls and e-mails from several countries in Latin America, including important allies such as Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
The paper, O Globo, based in Rio de Janeiro, says the documents show the National Security Agency amassed military and security data on countries such as Venezuela, an American adversary that has been accused of aiding Colombia’s Marxist rebels and maintaining close ties with Iran. But the documents also show that the agency carried out surveillance operations to unearth inside commercial information on the oil industry in Venezuela and the energy sector in Mexico, which is under state control and essentially closed to foreign investment.
U.S. officials have declined to address issues about intelligence gathering or the O Globo report, except to issue a statement saying that “we have been clear that the United States does gather foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”
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Full O Globo report here. (Note the Glenn Greenwald byline, fwiw.) Tuesday's report came after the Rio paper published a Sunday cover story on the NSA's spying that, according to the Los Angeles Times' reading, suggested that Brazil is the most monitored country in Latin America, a region thought to hold the best asylum hopes for Snowden. While Brazil has said it has no interest in opening its doors to Snowden, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have all said they would consider his bid for asylum.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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