Fri, Oct 11, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Brazil could grant asylum: reporter


Brazil-based US reporter Glenn Greenwald said on Wednesday he would publish documents from intelligence leaker Edward Snowden focused on France and Spain.

Greenwald, a Rio de Janeiro —based correspondent for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, also said that if Brazil wanted more data on alleged US snooping into its affairs it should offer Snowden asylum.

Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor wanted by Washington, is currently at an unknown location in Russia after Moscow granted him temporary asylum.

Brazil did not respond to a Snowden request for asylum as he sought refuge following his first explosive disclosures detailing the US government’s digital dragnet.

Testifying before a Brazilian congressional panel, Greenwald accused Washington and its allies of waging a “war against journalism and the process of transparency.”

“I am learning now that the United States is using this surveillance system to punish the journalistic process,” Greenwald said, who, without elaborating, added he was working on material relating to France and Spain.

“We are undertaking high-risk journalism. We shall continue doing so until we publish the last document I have,” Greenwald told senators investigating allegations that Washington spied on Brasilia.

“I am not holding onto relevant documents nor hiding information. All that I had regarding surveillance against Brazil, and now France — I am working with French and Spanish newspapers — I publish. I don’t hold onto it,” he said in Portuguese.

Greenwald said governments, including Brazil’s, appeared to be grateful for the disclosure of alleged US spying on them, “but they are not disposed to protect the person who passes on the data.”

“If the government wants information it should protect him so he is at liberty to work,” Greenwald said.

He added he was in almost daily contact with Snowden.

The documents released so far appear to show that the NSA intercepted Brazilian government communications, those of state-run energy giant Petrobras, as well as telephone calls and e-mails of millions of Brazilians.

Meanwhile, Snowden’s father arrived in Moscow yesterday morning to meet with his son.

Lon Snowden said he doubts his son will return to the US, where he is charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing NSA’s highly classified surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world.

“I’m not sure that my son will be returning to the US again,” Lon Snowden said, but added that “that’s his decision.”

He also said he has not had direct contact with his son and would not say when or where he will be meeting him.

Edward Snowden was stuck at a Moscow airport for more than a month after his arrival in Hong Kong on June 23. He was granted asylum in Russia in August. His whereabouts remain secret although his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, insists that Snowden lives in Russia.

Lon Snowden thanked Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin for sheltering his son.

Edward Snowden’s asylum status has strained the already tense relationship between the US and Russia, and US President Barack Obama has called off a meeting with Putin at a Russia-hosted summit last month.

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