Jul 12 2013, 2:51am CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
Rio de Janeiro, July 12 — Brazil is concerned that the secrecy of its strategic data has been compromised, the government said, in the wake of revelations that the US has been spying on Brazil's communications.
Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo told a Senate hearing Thursday that the government is worried that the US has accessed sensitive information on oil reserves and other strategic data, reported Xinhua.
"We have a major concern about the possibility of leaks of strategic information, such as the pre-salt oil reserves, even though (state oil giant) Petrobras has a very good security structure," he said.
Bernardo reaffirmed the government knew nothing about the supposed surveillance scheme carried out by US intelligence agencies until Brazil's daily O Globo ran a story Sunday.
According to the daily, the US National Security Agency (NSA) especially targeted Brazil as part of its global surveillance program, gathering millions of e-mails and phone calls made by Brazilian citizens, companies and foreigners residing in the country.
The NSA even established a base in the capital Brasilia for the sole purpose of intercepting the data, the daily said.
"If there were any bases, they were clandestine. There is no secret agreement at the state level," Bernardo said.
He expressed anger at the alleged surveillance and admitted the necessity for Brazil to protect itself from cyber spying.
In a Senate hearing Wednesday, Defense Minister Celso Amorim admitted Brazil's cyber defences are faulty and that only recently has the country set up a cyber defense center within the armed forces.
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