Brazilian Leader Gives Obama Hell Over NSA Surveillance

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff blasted the U.S.’s global spying empire in a UN address yesterday.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Photo Credit: Dilma Rousseff/Flickr

The leader of Brazil has had enough of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying on her country. And she’s not hiding any of her outrage.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff took to the world stage yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly meeting and blasted the U.S.’s global spying empire. Her angry speech came in the wake of revelations that the NSA monitored the president’s phone calls and the Brazilian embassy and also spied on the state oil company, Petrobras. The revelations were the result of documents leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden.

“Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information – often of high economic and even strategic value – was at the centre of espionage activity,” said Rousseff, according to The Guardian. “Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the permanent mission to the UN and the office of the president of the republic itself, had their communications intercepted.”

Rousseff added that the NSA spying “is a breach of international law and is an affront of the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations.” The address from the Brazilian president came right before President Barack Obama’s speech at the UN, which touched on NSA spying as well, though he didn’t directly address the Brazilian leader’s charges.

The speech from Rousseff came after diplomatic relations between the two countries worsened in the wake of the NSA revelations. Rousseff canceled a state visit to the U.S. earlier this month in response to the revelations first aired by Brazilian TV outlet Globo. Rousseff has demanded an apology from the U.S. over the spying. The Brazilian legislature has begun to debate passing a law that would force Internet companies to store data about Brazilians in Brazil in an effort to keep the data away from the NSA.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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