Brazil president says she will not comment on Snowden

December 18, 2013 5:16 pm
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia on October 8, 2013/AFP
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia on October 8, 2013/AFP

, BRASILIA, Dec 18 – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday she will not weigh in on US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden’s offer to help thwart Washington’s cyberspying.

“I don’t think the government needs to comment. (Snowden) did not send us anything,” she told reporters. “I won’t weigh in.”

In an open letter published by the daily Folha de Sao Paulo Tuesday, Snowden offered to help Brazil counter US electronic spying but said he needs permanent political asylum to do so.

Snowden, who downloaded a huge trove of classified data documents while working as National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, turned the spotlight on extensive NSA snooping on Brazil.

This included surveillance of Rousseff’s communications and those of state-run oil giant Petrobras as well as of telephone calls and emails from millions of Brazilians.

The revelations infuriated Rousseff, who cancelled a trip to Washington in protest and pushed for a UN resolution aimed at protecting “online” human rights.

In his letter, Snowden did not request asylum from Brazil, but noted that Brazilian senators “have asked for my assistance with their investigations of suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens.”

The foreign ministry said it had received no official asylum request from Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for violating espionage laws.

The rogue US intelligence analyst unsuccessfully sought asylum in Brazil, as well as in other countries, in July before he was granted temporary refuge in Russia.


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