Documents leaked by Edward Snowden indicate that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras, Google’s private computer networks and a company that facilitates most of the world’s international bank transfers, Brazilian network Globo TV said.
However, the network gave no information about what the NSA may have obtained from Petrobras, Google and the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication — better known as SWIFT, which oversees international bank transfers thought to be secure transactions.
All three companies are included in an NSA training manual for new agents on how to target the private computer networks of big companies, the report said.
Separate reports last week in the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica also based on Snowden’s leak said the NSA and its UK counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, had developed “new access opportunities” into Google’s computers by last year.
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement that “it is not a secret that the Intelligence Community collects information about economic and financial matters, and terrorist financing.”
“What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line,” he said.
The Globo report came a week after US journalist Glenn Greenwald and the network said NSA documents showed that US spy agencies had monitored Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
That report brought demands for an explanation from the US and investigations from the governments of Brazil and Mexico.