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Everyone Snoops: Brazil Admits Spying On U.S. Diplomats

Colin Hale |
November 5, 2013 | 8:59 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

President Obama and President Rousseff in 2011/via Flickr Creative Commons
President Obama and President Rousseff in 2011/via Flickr Creative Commons
The Brazilian Intelligence Agency had been spying on American, Russian, Iranian, and Iraqi diplomats in Brazil as early as 2003, according to a report by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo on Monday.

These admissions by the Brazilian government comes months after a series of embarrassing altercations between the U.S. and Brazil over the NSA's spying efforts, including on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's personal email and phone. Rousseff had cancelled a state visit in Washington, D.C. in September, the only such visit for President Barack Obama in 2013, over the matter.

According to Monday's report in Folha, Brazilian intelligence spied on rooms rented out by the American embassy in Brasilia in 2003 and 2004 and "followed the diplomats on foot and by car." The report also indicated that Brazilian intelligence operatives also spied on Russian, Iranian, and Iraqi diplomats within Brazil's borders.

Brazil's government, including President Rousseff, has since acknowledged the spy program but insisted that "the operations were carried out within the law."  

According to The Verge, Rousseff's office also added that the publishing of classified documents, as the report in Folha was, is a crime and "that those responsible will be prosecuted according to the law."

Read more about Brazil, the United States, the NSA, and spying at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR.  Follow our complete coverage on the NSA and spying here.

Reach Executive Producer Colin Hale here. Follow him on Twitter.



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