Brazil denies asylum to whistleblower Snowden
Iran Press TV
Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:59PM GMT
Brazil has denied plans to grant asylum to US whistleblower Edward Snowden, following an offer by Snowden to help the South American nation investigate US spying on its people and president.
Unidentified Brazilian officials said the country has no interest in investigating the mass surveillance programs by the US revealed in June, and rejects asylum to former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Snowden, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Tuesday.
This is after Snowden sent an open letter to the Brazilian newspaper, offering to help Brazil counter US electronic spying.
He avoided directly requesting asylum from Brazil. However, he said the US will not let him speak until a country grants him permanent political asylum.
Brazil's latest rejection follows contradictory remarks by Brazilian Senator Ricardo Ferraco, who is also the deputy chair of a parliamentary inquiry into the spying activities, who said in October that Brasilia would ask for an authorization for a teleconference with Snowden with the Russian ambassador later that month.
Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled a visit to Washington in October after it was revealed that her cellphone was monitored by the US surveillance program, as was the state oil company, Petrobras.
Snowden is currently in Russia after Moscow in August granted him asylum for one year.
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