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People's Daily Online

Brazilian media hightlights new U.S. espionage scandal

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 12:12, July 07, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 6 -- New leaked information has confirmed that Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and even her cabinet members had been spied on by the U.S. government, which drew extensive attention of the Brazilian media over the weekend.

On Saturday, WikiLeaks published a list of phone lines that were reportedly tapped by the U.S. government, including Rousseff's numbers at her office, the numbers of her assistants and secretary, of several ministers (including a general responsible for the president's personal security) and even Rousseff's line on the presidential plane, daily O Estado de Sao Paulo reported.

The home numbers of several diplomats, Brazilian embassies and lines at the central bank were monitored as well.

According to WikiLeaks, the espionage was carried out at the beginning of the Rousseff administration in 2011. Rousseff was re-elected in late 2014 for a second four-year term.

News portal G1 said that the news of espionage was again leaked close to a trip of Rousseff to the United States.

In 2013, she was a few months from a trip to the U.S., but canceled it when the U.S. government did not respond accordingly to Brazil's demands for a guarantee the espionage would stop.

This time, the information was leaked a few days after Rousseff finished a trip to Washington, the first trip since she canceled the 2013 one.

G1 mentioned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's statement that if President Rousseff wants more U.S. investments in Brazil, as evidenced by her trip to Washington, she should ensure that U.S. companies are not given any undue advantages over local businesses, such as advanced information obtained through illegal monitoring of phone and email activities.

O Estado de Sao Paulo also pointed out WikiLeaks' stance that the information proves that the United States was carrying out an active campaign of economic espionage against Brazil.

Meanwhile, local press also underlined Brazilian and U.S. government's response on the matter.

Economic daily Valor recalled that, during her trip to the U.S., Rousseff said that the episode had been over when asked about the issue.

After the new espionage information was leaked, the Presidency's Social Communication Secretariat released an official statement saying that President Rousseff trusts U.S. President Barack Obamaand that the matter was indeed over.

BBC Brazil reported that, according to the Secretariat, Obama reassured Rousseff that the monitoring was over and that there would be no more spying on the Brazilian government and companies.

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