21:18 GMT26 November 2020
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    The US National Security Agency’s (NSA) economic espionage in Brazil may have given US and British oil companies an unfair advantage, the co-author of the latest NSA revelations told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) – Over the weekend, WikiLeaks and the Intercept revealed information about the NSA’s wiretapping of 29 key Brazilian government officials, including President Dilma Rousseff’s closest associates, as well as economic and financial leaders.

    David Michael Miranda, co-author of the Intercept disclosure and coordinator of Brazil's campaign to offer NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden political asylum there, claims that "there is sufficient evidence to believe that US and British companies benefited from NSA espionage."

    "It is curious that in late 2013, shortly after the spy scandal unraveled, the Brazilian oil company Petrobras held a contest to develop deep-water oil fields and none of the four US and British companies took part in it," Miranda told Sputnik.

    Neither the US oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron, nor British Petroleum and British Gas, took part in the tender. Their absence cleared the way for Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, as well as China’s CNOOC International Limited and CNPC.

    "We suspect that companies from those countries involved in espionage may have used [NSA] information on the business opportunities in Brazil from the [former president] Lula da Silva administration," Miranda said.

    Relations between Brazil and the United States cooled in 2013, when Snowden revealed that US intelligence had monitored dozens of world leaders’ personal communications, including those of Rousseff.

    According to a top secret target list obtained by Wikileaks, NSA spied on Rousseff’s assistant, secretary, chief of staff, palace office and the phone in the presidential jet.

    Key economic officials in the Brazilian establishment were also under surveillance, with finance ministers and the governor of the Brazilian Central Bank on the target list.

    The United States also tapped the phones of Brazil’s foreign minister and ambassadors to Germany, France, the European Union and the United States, as well as Brazilian military chiefs.

    Miranda, who co-authored the Intercept article with partner Glenn Greenwald, a US journalist who uncovered the NSA spy scandal and is a founder of the website, told Sputnik he was preparing additional material covering NSA wiretapping of Argentinian officials.

    Related:

    Wikileaks Reveals NSA Wiretapped Brazilian President, Other Officials
    UK Set to Lose Billions in Lost Trade to Brazil, Russia, India and China
    NSA Spied on Key Brazilian Government Officials – Wikileaks
    Tags:
    Oil, Brazil, espionage, business, National Security Agency (NSA), WikiLeaks, Britain, US
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