Despite earlier US assurances that its Department of Defense does not “engage in economic espionage in any domain,” a new report suggests that the intelligence agency NSA spied on Brazilian state-run oil giant Petrobras.
Brazil‘s biggest television network Globo TV reported that the information about the NSA spying on Petroleo Brasileiro SA came from Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist who first published secrets leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Globo TV aired slides from an NSA presentation from 2012 that revealed the agency’s ability to gain access to private networks of companies such as Petrobras and Google Inc.
One slide specified an ‘economic’ motive for spying, along with diplomatic and political reasons.
This seems to contradict a statement made by an NSA spokesman to the Washington Post on August 30, which said that the US Department of Defense “does not engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”
An official from the NSA told Globo that the agency gathers economic information not to steal secrets, but to watch for financial instability.
- NSA: Evidence of Participation in Economic Espionage – US Spied on Brazil Oil Giant Petrobras (goldenageofgaia.com)
- Report: US government allegedly spied on Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras, Globo TV reports – @Reuters (reuters.com)
- Snowden Files Show U.S. Spied on Petrobras, Globo TV Reports (bloomberg.com)
- No economic espionage? NSA docs show US spied on Brazil oil giant Petrobras (rt.com)