Sharp rise in environmental and land killings as pressure on planet’s resources increases – report
April 30, 2014
Urgent action required to challenge impunity of perpetrators, protect citizens and address root causes of environmental crisis
Killings of people protecting the environment and rights to land increased sharply between 2002 and 2013 as competition for natural resources intensifies, a new report from Global Witness reveals. In the most comprehensive global analysis of the problem on record, the campaign group has found that at least 908 people are known to have died in this time. Disputes over industrial logging, mining and land rights the key drivers, and Latin America and Asia-Pacific particularly hard hit.
Released in the year of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Brazilian rubber tapper and environmental activist Chico Mendes, Deadly Environment highlights a severe shortage of information or monitoring of this problem. This means the total is likely to be higher than the report documents, but even the known scale of violence is on a par with the more high profile incidence of journalists killed in the same period (1). This lack of attention to crimes against environment and land defenders is feeding endemic levels of impunity, with just over one per cent of the perpetrators known to have been convicted.
“This shows it has never been more important to protect the environment, and it has never been more deadly,” said Oliver Courtney of Global Witness. “There can be few starker or more obvious symptoms of the global environmental crisis than a dramatic upturn in killings of ordinary people defending rights to their land or environment. Yet this rapidly worsening problem is going largely unnoticed, and those responsible almost always get away with it. We hope our findings will act as the wake-up call that national governments and the international community clearly need.”
The key findings in Deadly Environment are as follows:
At least 908 people were killed in 35 countries protecting rights to land and the environment between 2002 and 2013, with the death rate rising in the last four years to an average of two activists a week.
2012 was the worst year so far to be an environmental defender, with 147 killings – nearly three times more than in 2002.
Impunity for these crimes is rife: only 10 perpetrators are known to have been convicted between 2002 and 2013 – just over one per cent of the overall incidence of killings.
The problem is particularly acute in Latin America and South East Asia. Brazil is the most dangerous place to defend rights to land and the environment, with 448 killings, followed by Honduras (109) and the Philippines (67).
The problem is exacerbated by a lack of systematic monitoring or information. Where cases are recorded, they are often seen in isolation or treated as a subset of other human rights or environmental issues. The victims themselves often do not know their rights or are unable to assert them because of lack of resources in their often remote and risky circumstances.
John Knox, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment said, “Human rights only have meaning if people are able to exercise them. Environmental human rights defenders work to ensure that we live in an environment that enables us to enjoy our basic rights, including rights to life and health. The international community must do more to protect them from the violence and harassment they face as a result.”
Indigenous communities are particularly hard hit. In many cases, their land rights are not recognized by law or in practice, leaving them open to exploitation by powerful economic interests who brand them as ‘anti-development’. Often, the first they know of a deal that goes against their interests is when the bulldozers arrive in their farms and forests.
Land rights form the backdrop to most of the known killings, as companies and governments routinely strike secretive deals for large chunks of land and forests to grow cash crops like rubber, palm oil and soya. At least 661 – over two-thirds – of the killings took place in the context of conflicts over the ownership, control and use of land, in combination with other factors. The report focuses in detail on the situation in Brazil, where land disputes and industrial logging are key drivers, and the Philippines, where violence appears closely linked to the mining sector.
This week, a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to issue a stark warning that governments are failing to reduce carbon emissions(2). It is likely to show the world is on course to miss the targets required to stay within the accepted 2C temperature increase that is generally considered a line that must not be crossed to avoid climatic upheaval. Global Witness’ research suggests that as well as failing to reduce their emissions, governments are failing to protect the activists and ordinary citizens who find themselves on the frontline of this problem.
“This rapidly worsening situation appears to be hidden in plain sight, and that has to change. 2012, the year of the last Rio Summit, was the deadliest on record. Delegates gathering for climate talks in Peru this year must heed this warning – protection of the environment is now a key battleground for human rights. While governments quibble over the text of new global agreements, at the local level more people than ever around the world are already putting their lives on the line to protect the environment,” said Andrew Simms of Global Witness, “At the very least, to start making good on official promises to stop climate change, governments should protect and support those personally taking a stand.”
The report also underlines that rising fatalities are the most acute and measurable end of a range of threats including intimidation, violence, stigmatization and criminalization. The number of deaths points to a much greater level of non-lethal violence and intimidation, which the research did not document but requires urgent and effective action.
Global Witness is calling for a more coordinated and concerted effort to monitor and tackle this crisis, starting with a resolution from the UN’s Human Rights Council specifically addressing the heightened threat posed to environmental and land defenders. Similarly, regional human rights bodies and national governments need to properly monitor abuses against and killings of activists, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Companies must carry out effective checks on their operations and supply chains to make sure they do no harm.
For interviews, briefings, images and other information please contact:
Oliver Courtney, +44 (0)7912 517147, email@example.com;
Alice Harrison, +44 (0)7841 338792, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
(1) According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (2014) Dataset: Journalists killed since 1992, 913 journalists were killed while trying to carry out their work in the same period. Available from: https://www.cpj.org/killed/cpj-database.xls
(2) “World needs Plan B on climate – IPCC”, available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26922661 (Accessed 8 April 2014)
(3) The full report and infographics will be available from www.globalwitness.org/deadlyenvironment from 0001 GMT 15 April 2014.
Global Witness investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses
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Study says activists in more danger as competition for natural resources intensifies, partly due to climate change
April 30, 2014
Hundreds of people have been killed while defending the environment and land rights around the world, international monitors said in a report released Tuesday, highlighting what they called a culture of impunity surrounding the deaths.
At least 908 people were killed in 35 countries from 2002 to 2013 during disputes over industrial logging, mining, and land rights – with Latin America and Asia-Pacific being particularly hard-hit – according to the study from Global Witness, a London-based nongovernmental organization that says it works to expose economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction.
Only 10 people have ever been convicted over the hundreds of deaths, the report said.
The rate of such deaths has risen sharply – with an average of two activists killed each week – over the past four years as competition for the world’s natural resources has accelerated, Global Witness said in the report titled “Deadly Environment.”
“There can be few starker or more obvious symptoms of the global environmental crisis than a dramatic upturn in the killings of ordinary people defending rights to their land or environment,” said Oliver Courtney, a senior campaigner for Global Witness.
“This rapidly worsening problem is going largely unnoticed, and those responsible almost always get away with it,” Courtney said.
The report’s release followed a dire warning by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said global warming is driving humanity toward unprecedented risk due to factors such as food and water insecurity. Global Witness said this puts environmental activists in more danger than ever before.
Land rights are central to the violence, as “companies and governments routinely strike secretive deals for large chunks of land and forests to grow cash crops,” the report said. When residents refuse to give up their land rights to mining operations and the timber trade, they are often forced from their homes, or worse, it said.
The study ranked Brazil as the most dangerous place to be an environmentalist, with at least 448 killings recorded.
One case that especially shocked the country and the global environmental movement involved the 2011 killings of environmentalists Jose Claudio Ribeira da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva.
“The couple had denounced the encroachment of illegal loggers in the reserve and had previously received threats against their lives,” the report said.
Masked men gunned down the couple near a sustainable reserve where they had worked for decades producing nuts and natural oils. The killers tore off one of Jose Claudio’s ears as proof of his execution.
Though killing of environmental defenders in Brazil has leveled off, killings worldwide have continued to increase.Source: Global Witness
Indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable, the report said. In many cases, their land rights are not recognized by the state in law or practice. These communities are often branded as “anti-development” for not being willing to leave their land and sustainable environmental practices, Global Witness said.
It said such a label is ironic as these communities often have a strong incentive to practice sustainable development, since they earn their livelihood directly from the land. Since many of the communities are extremely remote, they often have no idea there are industrial plans for their land until bulldozers arrive, the report said.
Remote parts of Brazil’s Amazon rain forests are threatened by intensive industrial development plans, according to Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization that says it works to protect the rain forest and advance the rights of its indigenous peoples.
Nearly 50 percent of the Amazon rain forest could be gone by 2020 if current levels of deforestation persist, Amazon Watch has warned, adding that almost 400 different indigenous peoples depend on the forest for their survival.
“We hope our findings will act as the wake-up call that national governments and the international community clearly need,” said Courtney, the campaigner from Global Witness.
April 15, 2014 6:07PM ET
by Renee Lewis
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© 2014 Al Jazeera America, LLC.
Vale and Belo Monte suspected of spying
March 21, 2014
Rio de Janeiro-Paris-Geneva, February 14, 2014. Today, FIDH and OMCT presented the press with evidence that Vale and the Belo Monte Consortium have been spying on civil society. The two human rights groups have called upon the Brazilian judicial authorities to take whatever actions are necessary to bring these facts to light and take punitive action against those responsible.
In light of the Brazilian government’s lukewarm reaction to allegations of illegal espionage by transnational corporations targeting civil society organisations and movements, FIDH and OMCT, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, conducted an investigation in Brazil from February 9 to 14, 2014.
The investigation included interviews with victims, persons working for social organisations, government and judicial representatives, members of Parliament, and executives working for the Belo Monte Consortium, and the National Development Bank (Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento – BNDES).
The testimony and documents obtained during the investigation appear to substantiate claims that Vale and Belo Monte have been engaged in acts of corruption, that they illegally obtained confidential information and access to databases, made illegal recordings, were involved in identity theft, and conducted unfounded employee dismissals. These offences have been perpetrated with the complicity of State agents. Documents have been unearthed that substantiate both the bribing of State agents and possible assistance provided by the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Agência Brasileira de Inteligência – ABIN) to Belo Monte, whilst Vale worked with retired ABIN agents. Both companies are found have targeted persons and NGOs believed to be potential barriers to the companies’ activities.
Delegates from the fact-finding mission have criticised the State’s lack of progress in investigating these offences, which were reported to the State Prosecutor in March 2013. The persons heading the mission also called upon President Dilma Roussef to be consistent by applying the same standards to this case as those applied in the Snowden case.
The head of the Observatory mission, Jimena Reyes, Head of FIDH’s Americas Desk, stated that: “[…] the spying activities conducted by multinational corporations on social movements in Brazil raises serious questions about human rights respect by companies. These activities undermine freedom of expression and the right to protest, which form one of the fundamental pillars of a democratic state”.
Alexandre Faro, a lawyer and one of the mission delegates explained that: “[…] the lack of regulations on private intelligence activities conducted by corporations facilitates the perpetration of abuses against civil society”. He went on to state that, “the power held by multi-national corporations calls for a strong legal and judicial system to act as a counterbalance and stop any further excesses of this nature”.
A report on the fact-finding mission will be published in the coming months. It will provide a detailed account of the mission’s findings and recommendations, and will be presented to the Brazilian Government, non-governmental actors, international organisations, diplomatic representations, and to national, regional and international human rights protection entities.
18 February 2014
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Report on mining and steel industry in Brazil
COPYRIGHT © 2014 – FIDH – WORLDWIDE HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Brazil Accused of Spying on Belo Monte Dam Opponents
March 21, 2014
An activist collective opposed to the construction of the controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric dam [en] on the Xingu River in northern Brazil uncovered a spy in its midst [en] who confessed to infiltrating the group allegedly at the behest of the dam company and Brazil’s federal intelligence agency.
The Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (Xingu Alive Forever Movement), a collective of organisations, social movements, and environmentalists in the region of Altamira, Pará that are against the power plant there, which is currently under construction, discovered the mole during an annual planning meeting on February 24, 2013.
According to the report on its website, the group found that “one participant, Antonio, who had recently integrated into the movement, was recording the meeting with a spy pen”:
Em dezembro [de 2012], segundo o depoente, ele passou a espionar o Xingu Vivo, onde se infiltrou em função da amizade de sua família com a coordenadora do movimento, Antonia Melo. Neste período, acompanhou reuniões e monitorou participantes do movimento, enviando fotos e relatos para o funcionário do CCBM [Consórcio Construtor de Belo Monte], Peter Tavares.
Foi Tavares que, segundo Antonio, lhe deu a caneta para gravar as discussões do planejamento do movimento Xingu Vivo. O espião também relatou que este material seria analisado pela inteligência da CCBM, e que, para isso, contaria com a participação da ABIN (Agência Brasileira de Inteligência), que estaria mandando um agente para Altamira esta semana.
In December , according to the man, he began to spy on Xingu Vivo, which he infiltrated based on his family’s friendship with the coordinator of the movement, Antonia Melo. During this period, he followed meetings and monitored the movement’s participants, sending photos and reports to Belo Monte’s Consortium Builder (CCBM) employee Peter Tavares.
Tavares was the one who, according to Antonio, gave him the pen to record Xingu Vivo’s planning discussions. The spy also reported that this material would be analyzed by the CCBM’s intelligence, and for that he’d count on the participation of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN), which would be sending an agent to Altamira [that] week.
In his statement, recorded by Xingu Vivo, the CCBM spy confesses that he received 5,000 Brazilian reais (2,532 US dollars) to pass information to the agency about the movement’s activities:
The movement asked federal prosecutors to assure the spy’s safety and of the members of the Xingu Vivo, who say they feel “in a situation of risk and under threat”, besides asking for the investigation of the complaints.
In a brief statement [.pdf], ABIN denied any involvement in the espionage in conjunction with the CCBM. CCBM has not released any statement.
ABIN, established in 1999 as an instrument of the federal government, was appointed as the successor of the National Intelligence Service, an agency that actively spied on popular and labor organisation during the Brazilian military dictatorship from 1964-1985 in order for them to be better controlled or even crushed.
Greve em Belo Monte – novembro de 2012. “Mais de 17 mil operários trabalham na construção da hidrelétrica de Belo Monte, numa obra com custo estimado de R$ 25 bilhões”. Foto de Altamiro Borges (CC BY 3.0)
Strike in Belo Monte – November 2012. “More than 17 thousand laborers working n the construction of the Belo Monte Dam, a project estimated to cost R$ 25 billion”. Photo by Altamiro Borges (CC BY 3.0)
The agency has had its eye on Xingu Vivo in the past. In June 2011, ABIN published a report on the collective, saying that the organisation “has received support from foreigners and international NGOs whose activities in the country are partly financed by international organizations and foreign governments”. The movement’s response to the report was cited by the humanities research institute Humanitas Unisinos, from the University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul:
O relatório sigiloso da Abin é “patético” porque as verdades que ele arrola “são mais do que públicas”. Estão no sítio web do Movimento que são seus parceiros e apoiadores. “Não precisava o governo gastar dinheiro dos contribuintes com essa “investigação’”, diz nota do Xingu Vivo. “Constrangedoras, porém, são as mentiras pelas quais o contribuinte também paga”, agrega. O Movimento desafia a Abin a comprovar que recebe apoio de governos.
The confidential ABIN report is “pathetic” because the truths which it lists “are more than public.” They are [stated] on the website of the movement as its partners and supporters. “The government didn’t need to spend taxpayers money with this “investigation”, says the Xingu Vivo note. “Embarrassing, though, are the lies by which the taxpayer also pays”, adds. The movement challenges ABIN to prove that they receive support from governments.
Several organisations and social movements have signed a joint statement condemning ABIN and expressing solidarity with the Xingu Vivo movement.
Símbolo da ABIN.
The Workers’ Cause Party, in a statement released by Diário Liberdade on April 9, slammed the spying revelation:
A espionagem dos movimentos populares e sindicais não é exclusividade dos regimes militares. Em realidade, nunca foi erradicada, já que a “transição democrática” de 1985 manteve a maior parte dos privilégios dos militares e políticos ligados à ditadura. De uma só vez, a serviço dos empresários e do imperialismo, o governo do PT dá espaço para a ala direita da burguesia, que sempre esteve no comando dos órgãos de repressão, fazer o que bem entende contra o povo trabalhador.
The espionage of popular movements and unions is not unique to military regimes. In reality, it was never eradicated, as the “democratic transition” from 1985 retained most of the privileges of the military and politicians linked to the dictatorship. At one time, at the service of entrepreneurs and imperialism, the government of the Workers Party (PT) gave space to the right wing of the bourgeoisie, which has always been in control of the organs of repression, do what it pleases against working people.
Blogger Candido Cunha denounced that ABIN’s own website reports a standing agreement between the agency and Eletronorte, which is part of the Belo Monte’s Consortium Builder, since 2009:
Além do trabalho voltado a salvaguardar os conhecimentos de interesse estratégico para o Brasil, a Abin assessora a Eletronorte na elaboraração do planejamento estratégico de segurança para a proteção de suas infraestruturas críticas – instalações, serviços e bens que, se forem interrompidos ou destruídos, provocarão sério impacto social, econômico e/ou político.
In addition to the work aimed at safeguarding the knowledge of strategic interests for Brazil, Abin advises Eletronorte in the development of strategic security planning for the protection of their critical infrastructure – facilities, services and assets which, if disrupted or destroyed, would have serious social, economic and/or political impact.
Dock workers under surveillance
Porto de Suape Navio João Cândido. Foto de C.A.Müller (CC BY-SA)
Port of Suape, João Cândido ship. Photo by C.A.Müller (CC BY-SA)
But this is not the only construction site where opposition to governmental projects has allegedly come under surveillance by the Brazilian Intelligence Agency.
The agency faces allegations that it has also spied on workers at the port of Suape in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, in the city of Cabo de Santo Agostinho near Recife.
According to a report by Partido da Causa Operária (Working Cause Party), the espionage dates from March 2013 and aims to “investigate a possible strike by workers against the Provisional Measure of Ports, which would remove the power of state governments to bid new cargo terminals and reduce labor rights.”
The Provisional Measure of Ports, MP 595/12, a proposed Presidential act, provides for, according to various social movements, the privatization of Brazilian ports.
Blogger José Accioly republished a note by the Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI) – which coordinates ABIN’s investigations and responds to the Presidency of the Republic – rejecting the accusations that it was spying on the union movement of Suape. But secret documents from ABIN, obtained and published by Brazilian news website Estadão.com.br, confirmed that it was monitoring the unions.
Operation “Risk Management”, formally known as the Office “Mission Order 022/82 105″ of March 13, 2013, not only disavows the GSI, reporting that the espionage occurs in all 15 coastal Brazilian states and its ports in order to avoid strikes and negative reactions to the Provisional Measure of Ports.
Retired teacher and engineer Ossami Sakamori compared the mood of government opponents during the military dictatorship and the mood of those opposing the government today:
O clima que os opositores ao regime vivia, era o mesmo clima que os opositores do poder da República vive hoje. Não sabemos de onde virão as represálias, porque estamos sendo monitorados, sim. Os achincalhamentos que recebemos, via rede social é a parte visível do processo. O que temo são as ações desenvolvidos pelos órgãos de inteligências contra os opositores do regime de hoje, pelos agentes invisíveis aos olhos do cidadão comum.
The climate that opponents of the regime lived through, was the same as opponents of the Republic’s power experience today. We do not know where the retaliation will come from because we are being monitored, yes. The mockeries we receive via social network is the visible part of the process. What I fear are the actions undertaken by intelligence agencies against opponents of the regime today, by the agents invisible to the eyes of the average citizen.
Several political parties, including the Democratic Labour Party (PDT), the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), said they will “summon the minister of the Institutional Security Office, General Jose Elito Carvalho Siqueira, and the director of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, Wilson Roberto Trezza, to give explanations to the House of Representatives Working Committee the agency’s monitoring and intimidation of the union movement.”
Even employees of ABIN, represented by the National Association for Intelligence Officers (Aofi), reported in a note that they feel uncomfortable with the focus put on spying on social movements under General José Elito. The union Força Sindical issued a statement declaring it unacceptable that a party with its origins in the labor movement can use “organs of repression” against these workers.
Written by Raphael Tsavkko Garcia Translated by Raphael Tsavkko Garcia
Translation posted 18 April 2013 8:00 GMT
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CSEC and Brazil: “Whose interests are being served”? (2013)
November 13, 2013
Amusing to see both NaPo and the G&M hosting remarks from former CSIS deputy director Ray Boisvert dismissing the recent Snowden/Greenwald docs which revealed CSEC spied on Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry.
Snowden was present at the Five Eyes conference where the CSEC presentation on their Olympia spying program on Brazil took place.
Boisvert in both papers:
“We were all too busy chasing bad guys who can actually kill people. The idea that we spend a lot of time, or any time at all, on a country like Brazil is pretty low margin stuff, not likely to happen.”
The docs probably only represent “a war gaming exercise,” says Boisvert:
“They have to do paper exercises and say, ‘OK, let’s say our target in counter-terrorism lives in Mali and we have to go up against the Malian telecommunications system.’ They’ll go look at another country and say, ‘OK, well they have a similar network so let’s do a paper exercise and say ‘what do we need?’” he said. ‘I think that’s all this was.’”
Because when you’re “busy chasing bad guys who can actually kill people” and stuff, naturally your anti-terrorism war games will entail a cyber-espionage program searching for corporate secrets in a country where 40 of your own country’s mining corporations are operating.
Wouldn’t have anything to do with looking for info on Brazil wanting to block a Canadian mining company from opening the largest open pit gold mine in Brazil, would it? Brazilian prosecutors say the company has failed to study the impact on local Indian communities and has advertised on its own website “plans to build a mine twice the size of the project first described in an environmental assessment it gave state officials.”
Ok, foreign media. The Guardian, today:
Canadian spies met with energy firms, documents reveal
“The Canadian government agency that allegedly hacked into the Brazilian mining and energy ministry has participated in secret meetings in Ottawa where Canadian security agencies briefed energy corporations.
According to freedom of information documents obtained by the Guardian, the meetings – conducted twice a year since 2005 – involved federal ministries, spy and police agencies, and representatives from scores of companies who obtained high-level security clearance.
Meetings were officially billed to discuss ‘threats’ to energy infrastructure but also covered ‘challenges to energy projects from environmental groups,’ ‘cyber security initiatives’ and ‘economic and corporate espionage.’
The documents – heavily redacted agendas – do not indicate that any international espionage was shared by CSEC officials, but the meetings were an opportunity for government agencies and companies to develop ‘ongoing trusting relations’ that would help them exchange information ‘off the record,’ wrote an official from the Natural Resources ministry in 2010.”
Thank you, Enbridge, for providing the snacks for the one in May 2013.
“Keith Stewart, an energy policy analyst with Greenpeace Canada, said: ‘There seems to be no limit to what the Harper government will do to help their friends in the oil and mining industries. They’ve muzzled scientists, gutted environmental laws, reneged on our international climate commitments, labelled environmental critics as criminals and traitors, and have now been caught engaging in economic espionage in a friendly country. Canadians, and our allies, have a right to ask who exactly is receiving the gathered intelligence and whose interests are being served.’”
Good question. And did no Canadian media request these same FOIs?
You know, I think I blogged about government security briefings to energy companies a few years ago — I’ll see if I can find it.
Meanwhile, would be interesting to hear Boisvert’s explanation as to why the CSEC logo appeared on another NSA doc about intercepting phone calls and emails of ministers and diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit in London.
More “paper exercises”? Filling in an empty spot on the page while chasing bad guys?
And re the recent NSA spying on Brazil PM Dilma Rousseff and the state oil company Petrobras: Did CSEC help out its Five Eyes partner there too?
Back in 1983, CSEC spied on two of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet ministers on behalf of Thatcher and Britain’s spy agency GCHQ, so this wouldn’t exactly be new territory for CSEC.
Fun fact : The annual report on CSEC produced by its independent watchdog commissioner must first be vetted by CSEC “for national security reasons” before it can be released.
P.S. I pillaged the CSEC slide at top from Lux ex Umbra, where you can view the rest of them.
Posted by admin on October 10, 2013 · Leave a Comment
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Spy agency won’t say if it uses Canadian embassies; The national eavesdropping agency is refusing to comment on allegations that it mounts foreign operations through Canada’s embassies abroad.
November 8, 2013
The German magazine Der Spiegel this week cites presentation slides leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the National Security Agency, CSEC’s American counterpart.
OTTAWA—The national eavesdropping agency is refusing to comment on allegations that it mounts foreign operations through Canada’s embassies abroad.
Lauri Sullivan, a spokeswoman for Communications Security Establishment Canada, says the agency does not comment “on our foreign intelligence collection activities or capabilities.”
German magazine Der Spiegel says Canada is using diplomatic facilities to support surveillance operations in league with key allies the United States, Britain and Australia.
Word of the Canadian reference — first reported by blogger Bill Robinson, who closely tracks CSEC — came as the NDP unsuccessfully sought support in the House of Commons to create a parliamentary committee that would look into stronger oversight for the intelligence community.
The magazine report published this week cites presentation slides leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the National Security Agency, CSEC’s American counterpart.
One slide indicates the Canadian spy agency hosts “Stateroom” sites — a term for covert signals-intelligence gathering bases hidden in consulates and embassies.
“These sites are small in size and in number of personnel staffing them,” says the slide. “They are covert, and their true mission is not known by the majority of the diplomatic staff at the facility where they are assigned.”
Der Spiegel alleges that the U.S. NSA, Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters and Australia’s Defense Signals Directorate also host such covert stations, with equipment installed on rooftops or upper floors of embassy buildings — protected from view by screens or false structures.
It’s just the latest of several references to the Ottawa-based spy service in Snowden’s cache of leaked materials.
Earlier documents suggest Canada helped the U.S. and Britain spy on participants at the London G20 summit four years ago. Britain’s Guardian newspaper published slides describing the operation, including one featuring the CSEC emblem.
More recently, Brazil demanded answers following accusations CSEC initiated a sophisticated spy operation against the South American country’s ministry of mines and energy.
CSEC, tasked with gathering foreign intelligence of interest to Canada, has a staff of more than 2,000 — including skilled mathematicians, linguists and computer analysts — and a budget of about $350 million.
The recent revelations — including concerns that CSEC gathers information about Canadians in the course of its foreign spying — have sparked criticism from civil libertarians and opposition politicians.
An NDP motion put forward Tuesday by defence critic Jack Harris called for a special committee to study the intelligence oversight systems of other countries and make recommendations “appropriate to Canada’s unique circumstances.” The committee would have reported its findings by May 30 next year.
The motion quickly went down to defeat. The Conservative government maintains CSEC is already subject to scrutiny by an independent commissioner who has never found an instance of the spy service straying outside the law.
By: Jim Bronskill The Canadian Press, Published on Tue Oct 29 2013
Find this story at 29 October 2013
© Copyright Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. 1996-2013
Slides reveal Canada’s powerful espionage tool
November 8, 2013
Security experts say that Canadian intelligence has developed a powerful spying tool to scope out and target specific phones and computers so as to better set up hacking and bugging operations.
The outlines of the technology are contained in the slides of a PowerPoint presentation made to allied security agencies in June, 2012. Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) called the tool “Olympia,” showing how its analysts sifted through an immense amount of communications data and zeroed in on the phones and computer servers they determined merited attention – in the demonstration case, inside the Brazilian Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Within weeks, CSEC figured out who was talking to whom by plugging phone numbers and Internet protocol addresses into an array of intelligence databases. In this way it “developed a detailed map of the institution’s communications,” Paulo Pagliusi, a Brazilian security expert who examined the slides, told The Globe.
The slides are part of a large trove of documents that have been leaked by Edward Snowden, the former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) whose disclosures have set off a debate over whether the agency has improperly intruded on the privacy of Americans. Other disclosures have raised questions about its spying on foreign governments, sometimes with the assistance of allied intelligence agencies.
The Globe and Mail has collaborated with the Brazil-based American journalist Glenn Greenwald, based on information obtained from the Snowden documents. Mr. Snowden, who went into hiding in Hong Kong before the first cache of NSA documents was leaked, has been charged by the United States with espionage and theft of government property. Russia has granted him temporary sanctuary.
Canadian officials declined to comment on the slides. Responding to an e-mail requesting comment on whether Canada co-operated with its U.S. counterpart in tapping into Brazilian communications, CSEC spokesman Andy McLaughlin said the agency “cannot comment on its foreign intelligence activities or capabilities.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said earlier this month that he is “very concerned” about reports CSEC focused on the Brazil ministry.
Any ability to sift through telecommunications data for specific leads can be valuable for electronic-eavesdropping agencies, especially the capacity to map out – without necessarily listening into – an organization’s Internet or voice communications. This, in turn, can help isolate specific devices for potential hacking operations. By developing “Olympia” as a method for doing just this, Canada added to its spymasters’ toolkit.
The PowerPoint presentation by CSEC was first reported by Brazil’s Fantastico TV program, which earlier reported the NSA spying, in conjunction with Mr. Greenwald. Brazilian officials expressed outrage at the United States, but their criticism of Canada was more fleeting. They say they now intend to put public employees on an encrypted e-mail system.
The CSEC presentation – titled Advanced Network Tradecraft – described a technological reconnaissance mission aimed at the Brazilian energy ministry in April and May of 2012. According to the presentation, the agency knew very little about the ministry going in, apart from its Internet domain name and a few associated phone numbers. The presentation never makes clear CSEC’s intentions for targeting the Brazilian ministry.
The leaked slides also suggest Canada sought to partner with the NSA, with one slide saying CSEC was “working with TAO to further examine the possibility” of a more aggressive operation to intercept Internet communications.
“TAO” refers to “tailored access operations,” said Bruce Schneier, a privacy specialist for the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard. “It’s the NSA ‘blackbag’ people.” (A “blackbag job” refers to a government-sanctioned break-and-enter operation – hacking in this case – to acquire intelligence.)
It is not clear whether CSEC or the NSA followed up with other actions involving the Brazilian ministry.
COLIN FREEZE AND STEPHANIE NOLEN
WASHINGTON and RIO DE JANEIRO — The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 19 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
Find this story at 19 October 2013
© Copyright 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc.
Canadian spies met with energy firms, documents reveal; Government agency that allegedly spied on Brazil had secret meetings with energy companies
November 8, 2013
Observers have suggested that Canada’s actions are related to potential competition to its tar sands. Photograph: Orjan F Ellingvag/Corbis
The Canadian government agency that allegedly hacked into the Brazilian mining and energy ministry has participated in secret meetings in Ottawa where Canadian security agencies briefed energy corporations, it has emerged.
Claims of spying on the ministry by Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) come amid the Canadian government’s increasingly aggressive promotion of resource corporations at home and abroad, including unprecedented surveillance and intelligence sharing with companies.
According to freedom of information documents obtained by the Guardian, the meetings – conducted twice a year since 2005 – involved federal ministries, spy and police agencies, and representatives from scores of companies who obtained high-level security clearance.
Meetings were officially billed to discuss “threats” to energy infrastructure but also covered “challenges to energy projects from environmental groups”, “cyber security initiatives” and “economic and corporate espionage”.
The documents – heavily redacted agendas – do not indicate that any international espionage was shared by CSEC officials, but the meetings were an opportunity for government agencies and companies to develop “ongoing trusting relations” that would help them exchange information “off the record”, wrote an official from the Natural Resources ministry in 2010.
At the most recent meeting in May 2013, which focused on “security of energy resources development”, meals were sponsored by Enbridge, a Canadian oil company trying to win approval for controversial tar sands pipelines.
Since coming to power, Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, has used his government apparatus to serve a natural resources development agenda, while creating sweeping domestic surveillance programs that have kept close tabs on indigenous and environmental opposition and shared intelligence with companies.
Harper has transformed Canada’s foreign policy to offer full diplomatic backing to foreign mining and oil projects, tying aid pledges to their advancement and jointly funding ventures with companies throughout Africa, South America and Asia.
Keith Stewart, an energy policy analyst with Greenpeace Canada, said: “There seems to be no limit to what the Harper government will do to help their friends in the oil and mining industries. They’ve muzzled scientists, gutted environmental laws, reneged on our international climate commitments, labelled environmental critics as criminals and traitors, and have now been caught engaging in economic espionage in a friendly country. Canadians, and our allies, have a right to ask who exactly is receiving the gathered intelligence and whose interests are being served.”
Observers have suggested that Canadian spying on Brazil is related to the country’s auctioning of massive offshore oil finds, potential competition to Canada’s tar sands, and Canada’s desire to gain competitive advantage for more than 40 Canadian companies involved in Brazil’s mining sector.
“There is very substantial evidence that the spying Canada was doing for economic reasons aimed at Brazil is far from an aberration,” Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald told Canadian media on Tuesday. Greenwald hinted that he will be publishing further documents on CSEC.
“We’ve already seen how Canadian embassies around the world essentially act as agents for Canadian companies – even when they’re implicated in serious human rights abuses,” said Jamie Kneen of MiningWatch Canada, an NGO watchdog. “We just had no idea how far they were willing to go.”
Martin Lukacs and Tim Groves
theguardian.com, Wednesday 9 October 2013 12.08 BST
Find this story at 9 October 2013
© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Brazil spying allegations part of a ‘war game scenario,’ former official says
November 8, 2013
A former high-ranking member of Canada’s spy service says he suspects the leaked documents that purport to show Ottawa was spying on Brazil are in fact part of a pretend “wargame scenario.”
“There’s no smoking gun here. It’s again more little snippets and snapshots from the Snowden revelations; they actually mislead more than they inform,” says Ray Boisvert, until last year a deputy director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
“I don’t believe it’s likely Brazil was targeted.”
A Brazilian television report on Sunday said Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency, the Communication Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) targeted the ministry that manages the South American nation’s vast mineral and oil resources. The report was based on documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Mr. Boisvert, who left the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 2012, said the top priority for CSIS and CSEC is counter-terrorism. The directive from on high was national security, not infiltrating a Brazilian government department of mining.
“When I worked there, very closely with CSEC and I was a top-line operational leader, we were all too busy chasing bad guys who want to kill people,” the former CSIS official said.
“At the end of the day CSIS and CSEC have a mandate to go after foreign powers if those are acting in a way that’s inimical to our interests, so the poster child for that would be Iran. Everything from nuclear proliferation to state-sponsored terror,” he said.
“Brazil seems highly unlikely to me,” Mr. Boisvert said.
He said one regular practice of security organizations, however, is war-gaming.
“I’m more inclined to think that this is probably a case of a hypothetical scenario,” Mr. Boisvert said.
“CSEC does war gaming just like the military and in their case they look at [computer] networks. Before they go after a target, they will play a game on paper,” he said.
“I have got a funny feeling that is all Snowden has: is just that exploratory war game piece saying ‘OK, what would we do, boys and girls, if we had to do this?’ ”
When pressed Monday for comment on allegations that CSEC spied on Brazilians, the Harper government gave repeated indirect answers to the question, saying the CSE does not conduct surveillance on Canadians.
“This organization cannot and does not target Canadians under Canadian law,” Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said.
Canadians and Brazilians are both working on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti and Mr. Nicholson rejected the suggestion the revelations might hurt relations between Canada and Brazil. “I believe our collaboration and friendship will continue,” Mr. Nicholson said.
“It’s wise not to get involved with commenting on foreign intelligence gathering activities and so I don’t do that.”
Mr. Boisvert said he assumes the Canadian government is reaching out to Brazil to explain what really happened.
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 07 2013, 1:12 PM EDT
Find this story at 7 October 2013
© Copyright 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc.
Charges that Canada spied on Brazil unveil CSEC’s inner workings
November 8, 2013
Leaked documents showing that Canada’s electronic intelligence-gathering agency targeted the Brazilian government threaten to disrupt relations between the countries – and thrust the secretive CSEC into the public spotlight.
On Sunday night, Brazil’s flagship Fantastico investigative program on the Globo television network revealed leaked documents suggesting that Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) has spied on computers and smartphones affiliated with Brazil’s mining and energy ministry in a bid to gain economic intelligence.
The report, attributed to documents first obtained by the former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden, includes frames of a CSEC-earmarked presentation that was apparently shared with the United States and other allies in June, 2012.
“Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME),” a title page of the leaked case study reads. “New target to develop.”
The presentation then rhetorically asks “How can I use the information available in SIGINT [signals-intelligence] data sources to learn about the target?” before delving into specific hacking techniques.
The documents were part of a collaboration with Globo by Glenn Greenwald. The Rio de Janeiro-based journalist and confidante of Mr. Snowden has spent the past four months steadily disclosing a treasure trove of leaked materials recording the electronic eavesdropping practices of the United States and its allies.
Washington has been reeling from the disclosures. In Brazil, they have caused the most serious rift between the two nations in years – after the first revelations about NSA espionage were made last month, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff canceled an official state visit to Washington; it was to be the first in 18 years and was intended to showcase the growing economic and political ties between the two countries. Instead Ms. Rousseff went to the UN General Assembly where she complained of “totally unacceptable” U.S. spying in her country. She gained a considerable bump in personal approval ratings after lashing out at the U.S. over the NSA activity, which has elicited a reaction of deep offense from many Brazilians.
Five highlights from the Canada-Brazil spying revelations Add to
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 07 2013, 11:02 AM EDT
Canada’s signals-intelligence agency has been spying on Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry, according to documents the former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden leaked to Brazil’s Globo television network.
Globo obtained a copy of a slide presentation made by someone at the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). The document was shown at a June 2012 gathering of members of the “Five Eyes,” the signals-intelligence alliance of Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
Here are some highlights that can be gleaned from the slides:
1. Using a program called Olympia, CSEC took aim at Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, describing it as a “new target to develop” despite “limited access/target knowledge.”
2. One of the slide shows that CSEC focused on ministry portable devices and was able to identify their carriers (such as Brasil Telecom S.A. or Global Village Telecom), the kind of hardware being used (for example a Nokia 3120 or an Android-based Motorola MRUQ7) and metadata about where calls were placed, in countries such as Peru, Venezuela, Poland, Singapore, Great Britain.
Another slide in the presentation explains how analysts cross-referenced a handset’s SIM card with the network telephone number assigned to it and the handset’s unique number (IMEI).
3. CSEC metadata collection included calls made from the Ministry of Mines and Energy to the Brazilian embassy in Peru and the head office of OLADE, the Latin American Energy Organization, in Quito, Ecuador.
One slide titled showed how the Canadians connected an IP addresses assigned to the ministry to e-mail communications with Canada, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Jordan and South Africa.
4. Another phone monitored by CSEC belonged to Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto, a career diplomat who was ambassador to Canada from 2008 to 2011, and is now Brazil’s Under Secretary for Middle East and Africa.
5. CSEC’s next step was going to be the collection of e-mails and cooperation with a hacking specialists working for a secret unit of the U.S. National Security Agency.
“I have identified MX [email] servers which have been targeted to passive collection by the Intel analysts,” says a slide titled “Moving Forward.”
The slide mentions TAO (Tailored Access Operations), an NSA unit specializes in installing spyware and tracking devices and has been reported to have played a role in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
“I am working with TAO to further examine the possibility for a Man on the Side operation,” the CSEC slide says, alluding to a form of online eavesdropping.
The impact for Canada of these revelations could be equally grave: they come at a time when Brazil has become a top destination for Canadian exports, when a stream of delegations from the oil and gas industries are making pilgrimages to Rio de Janeiro to try to get a piece of the booming offshore oil industry, and when the Canadian government is eager to burnish ties with Brasilia. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird visited Brazil in August, and spoke repeatedly about the country as a critical partner for Canadian business.
American lawmakers have introduced several bills that aim to rein in the U.S. National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs.
Throughout all this, Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency has kept a relatively low profile, never before emerging as the central figure in any Snowden-leaked spying program. Although it has existed since the Second World War, CSEC has rarely discussed any of its operations in public.
CSEC has a $350-million budget and 2,000 employees. By law, it has three mandates – to safeguard Canadian government communications and computers from foreign hackers, to help other federal security agencies where legally possible, and to gather “foreign intelligence.”
The federal government is building a new $1-billion headquarters for CSEC on the outskirts of Ottawa.
Given wide latitude by its political and bureaucratic masters to collect what “foreign intelligence” it can, CSEC is exceedingly discreet. The spy agency’s leaders rarely make any public remarks. When they do, they tend only to speak vaguely of the agency’s role in fighting terrorism.
But economic espionage appears to be a business line for CSEC. Former Carleton University Professor Martin Rudner has pointed out that the spy agency started recruiting economists and business analysts in the mid-1990s.
“CSE[C] operations in economic intelligence have gone rather beyond the strictly defensive to also help promote Canadian economic competitiveness,” Mr. Rudner wrote in an essay published in 2000. He added that the spy agency is rumoured to have given the Canadian government a leg up during NAFTA negotiations with Mexico, and also eavesdropped on the 1997 APEC summit.
Mr. Rudner added that Ottawa officials don’t necessarily share with Canadian businesses what CSEC surveillance turns up. Instead, he writes, they “sometimes provide advice and counsel by way of helping to promote Canadian trade, without necessarily revealing their sources in economic intelligence.”
While CSEC’s role in conducting economic espionage has been alluded to before, how it does this job has not. The significance of the documents obtained by Globo in Brazil is that they speak to how “metadata” analysis by CSEC can be used to exploit a rival country’s computer systems.
The CSEC-labeled slides about the “Olympia” program describe the “Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy” as a “new target to develop” despite “limited access/target knowledge.”
The presentation goes on to map out how an individual’s smartphone – “target’s handset” – can be discerned by analysis, including by cross-referencing the smartphone’s Sim card with the network telephone number assigned to it and also to the handset’s unique number (IMEI).
The “top secret” presentation also refers to attacks on email servers.
“I have identified MX [email] servers which have been targeted to passive collection by the Intel analysts,” one slide says, without explaining who the speaker is.
The slide suggests the presenter hoped to reach out to American superhackers – the NSA’s “Tailored Access Operations” group – for a more specialized operation: “I am working with TAO to further examine the possibility for a Man on the Side operation.”
A “Man on the Side” operation is a form of interception. According to a recent Guardian column, the NSA has installed secret servers on the Internet that can be used “impersonate a visited Web site” that a target plans to visit. The rerouting of the target’s traffic opens his or her computer or mobile device to invasion by the impersonating website.
The “Top Secret” presentation obtained by Globo is an exceedingly rare disclosure. In Ottawa, CSEC’s employees are sworn to secrecy and visitors to its complex have to check their smartphones, iPads, laptops and memory sticks at the door.
The CSEC-labeled presentation appears to have been shared with the NSA, the agency Mr. Snowden once worked for. He had retained access to the NSA’s data repositories as a security-cleared private contractor, prior to copying reams of material early this year and then flying with it to Hong Kong this summer.
Mr. Snowden leaked the materials to Mr. Greenwald in Hong Kong, prior to flying to Russia to seek asylum. The U.S. government wants to try him on espionage charges.
The leaked “CSEC – Advanced Network Tradecraft” presentation about the Olympia spying program kicks off with an allusion to Greek mythology.
It alludes to how Zeus and his sibling deities waged a 10-year battle to overthrow an older order of gods, known as the Titans. “And they said to the Titans ‘Watch Out OLYMPIAns in the house!” reads a slide in the presentation.
COLIN FREEZE AND STEPHANIE NOLEN
TORONTO AND RIO DE JANEIRO — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 07 2013, 7:14 AM EDT
Find this story at 7 October 2013
© Copyright 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc.
American and Canadian Spies target Brazilian Energy and Mining Ministry
November 8, 2013
TV Globo’s Fantastico obtains exclusive access to another document leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden
The Plaza of Ministries. The heart of power in Brazil. One of these buildings houses the Ministry of Mines and Energy. On the ground floor, one room is special. Its doors open only to a select few, identified by their thumbprints.
The huge noise in the small room comes from the air conditioning, used to preserve the machines. All of the ministry’s communications go through them – phone calls, e-mail, internet.
They store files with all data on the country’s energy and mineral resources. The room, called The Safe, has steel walls and is disaster-proof. According to the IT specialist, not even a fire or a collapse of the building would harm The Safe. And the protection is not just physical. This is the most secure network on the Plaza of Ministries. It has the same kind of security used by banks, for example. And yet it has been mapped by spies in surprising detail.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy has been targeted by American and Canadian spies.
Fantastico obtained exclusive access to another document leaked by former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, now exiled in Russia. This document was only identified last week. It was among thousands delivered by Snowden in Hong Kong last June to American journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-author of this story with TV Globo Reporter Sonia Bridi.
Greenwald explains that there are thousands of documents, and it takes time to read, to understand and to make the connections between them.
Over the last ten days, Bridi and Greenwald analyzed and checked the documents with help from specialists in data protection. One presentation showcases the tools employed by the Communications Security Establishment Canada – CSEC.
The target is the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brazil. This presentation was shown last June at a yearly meeting of analysts from intelligence agencies from five countries. The group is called Five Eyes – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Edward Snowden was present at the conference.
According to Greenwald, the documents are shared so that all are aware of what the others are doing. A computer program called Olympia shows step-b-step how all the ministry’s telephone and computer communications – including e-mails – were mapped.
The caption on one of the slides reveals the aim of the Canadian agency:
“Discover contacts of my target” – the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brazil.
The result of this monitoring is a detailed map of the Ministry’s communications during a period not specified in the document.
Phone calls made from the Ministry to other countries were used as examples. In Ecuador, the numbers called more often are those of OLADE, the Latin American Energy Organization.
In Peru, the number belongs to the Brazilian Embassy.
Via the internet, the Canadian agency accessed communications between the Ministry’s computers and computers in countries from the Middle East, in South Africa, and in Canada itself.
Information security expert Paulo Pagliusi says He was astonished by the power of these tools. He was specially surprised by the detailed and straightforward way in which the process is explained to intelligence agents, and how thoroughly the Brazilian Ministry’s communications were dissected.
The tool identified cell phone numbers, chip registry and even make and model of the cell phones.
We found out one of them is used by the International Department of the Ministry.
Also by phone, we found another user: Paulo Cordeiro, the former Ambassador of Brazil in Canada, currently posted in the Middle East Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Contacted by Fantastico, He declined to comment.
On Friday in Brasilia, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Edison Lobão, considered the issue a very serious one. “This is a grave fact which needs to be condemned. President Dilma Rousseff already has done so strongly at the United Nations,” said Lobão.
In her speech last month at the U.N. General Assembly, President Rousseff declared, “Telecommunication and information technologies cannot become a new battlefield between States.”
President Rousseff herself and Petrobras, the oil company associated with the Ministry, have also been targeted by American spies, as Fantastico has shown exclusively. And both may have been monitored indirectly by accessing the Ministry’s servers.
These servers use private encryption, which means they are protected by a series of codes. One of the servers, for instance, is used to contact the National Oil Agency, Patrobras, Eletrobras, the National Department of Mineral Production and even the President of the Republic. These are State conversations, government strategies which no one should be able to eavesdrop.
Minister Lobão explains that the ministry often contacts different authorities, including the President, by videoconference. “It’s regrettable that all of this is being exposed to espionage.”
Three of the world’s four largest mining companies are based in Canada.
Minister Lobão claims Canada has interests in Brazil, and particularly in the mining sector. “Several Canadian companies have shown interest in our country. Whether that means the aim of this espionage is to boost business for certain groups, I can’t say.”
The main data on Brazil’s mineral reserves is public, and spying is not required to access it.
But the Ministry’s system holds strategic information. Besides Petrobras, the Ministry of Mines and Energy’s network is connected to Eletrobras; the energy research company; the National Electric Energy Agency, which regulates bids for power plant contracts; and the National Oil Agency, in charge of auctions for exploration of the pre-salt layer.
Former Eletrobras President Pinguelli Rosa considers that this information can give a competitive advantage to companies bidding at these auctions. “Whoever knows what will happen beforehand can form partnerships, or estimate the values needed to win the auction and act accordingly. This is not a trifle, it’s a game of billions of dollars.”
Greenwald concludes that the aim of this espionage, which targets a specific ministry of one country, is clearly economic. “That’s what Snowden told me in the interview three months ago in Hong Kong.”
There is no indication in the documents that the content of these communications has been accessed – only who spoke to whom, when, where, and how.
But the author of the presentation makes the next steps very clear: among the actions suggested is a joint operation with a section of the American NSA, TAO, which is the special cyberspy taskforce, for an invasion known as “Man on the Side”.
All incoming and outgoing communications in the network can be copied, but not altered.
It’s like working on a computer with someone looking over your shoulder.
For Minister Lobão, Brazil is obviously the target of an international system of surveillance.
“What kind of damages are we risking, besides the attack on our sovereignty and individual rights? Business issues, for instance. This has not been evaluated yet, and may only surface in the long run.”
The Embassy of Canada in Brasilia declared it does not comment on intelligence and security issues.
The Communications Security Establishment issued a statement declaring that the CSE does not comment on foreign signals intelligence activities.
In another statement, the National Security Agency of the United States declared: “We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. As the President said in his speech at the UN General Assembly, we’ve begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”
TV Globo – Fantástico
Edição do dia 06/10/2013
Find this story at 6 October 2013
© Copyright 2013 Globo Comunicação e Participações S.A.
NSA Documents Show United States Spied Brazilian Oil Giant
November 8, 2013
One week after revealing USA surveillance of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, Fantastico brings another exclusive.
One of the prime targets of American spies in Brazil is far away from the center of power – out at sea, deep beneath the waves. Brazilian oil. The internal computer network of Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant partly owned by the state, has been under surveillance by the NSA, the National Security Agency of the United States.
The spying is confirmed by top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden, and obtained exclusively by Fantastico. Snowden, an ex-intelligence analyst employed by the NSA, made these and thousands of other documents public last June. He has been given asylum by Russia.
These new disclosures contradict statements by the NSA denying espionage for economic purposes.
The information was found by journalist Glen Greenwald, co-author of this story along with TV Globo Reporter Sonia Bridi, amid the thousands of documents given to him by Edward Snowden in June.
This statement addressed to “The Washington Post” this week highlights that ‘The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.'”
However, a top secret presentation dated May 2012 is used by the NSA to train new agents step-by-step how to access and spy upon private computer networks – the internal networks of companies, governments, financial institutions – networks designed precisely to protect information.
The name of Petrobras – Brazil’s largest company – appears right at the beginning, under the title: “MANY TARGETS USE PRIVATE NETWORKS.”
Besides Petrobras, e-mail and internet services provider Google’s infrastructure is also listed as a target. The company, often named as collaborating with the NSA, is shown here as a victim.
Other targets include French diplomats – with access to the private network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France – and the SWIFT network, the cooperative that unites over ten thousand banks in 212 countries and provides communications that enable international financial transactions. All transfers of money between banks across national borders goes through SWIFT.
Names of other companies and institutions on the list were blacked out in order not to compromise operations involving targets linked to terrorism.
Greenwald defends the decision to omit the names. “It’s a question of responsible journalism”, says Greenwald. “These documents contain information regarding spying against terrorists, matters of national security which should not be published, because nobody doubts that the United States, just as any other country, has the right to spy in order to guarantee national security. But there is much more information on spying on innocents, against people who have nothing to do with terrorism, or on industrial issues, which need to be made public.”
The documents are classified as “top-secret”, to be seen only by those named by the Americans as “Five Eyes” – the five countries allied in spying: the United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.
The name of Petrobras appears on several slides, as the training goes deeper in explaining how date from the target companies is monitored.
Individual folders are created for each target – and contain all the intercepted communications and IP addresses – the identification of each computer on the network – which should be immune to these attacks.
Paulo Pagliusi has a PhD in information security and has written books on the subject. He analyzed the documents for Fantastico.
“The networks in the presentation all belong to real companies. These are not made-up situations”, says Pagliusi. “Some details stand out. For instance, some numbers were blacked out. Why would they be blacked out if they weren’t real? It’s as if the instructors didn’t want the trainees to see them.”
Pagliusi points to signs that this is part of systematic spying. “You don’t obtain all of this in a single run. From what I see, this is a very consistent system that yields powerful results; it’s a very efficient form of spying,” he says.
Pagliusi concludes that this has been going on for a while: “There’s no place for amateurs in this area.”
The yearly profits of Petrobras are over 280 billion reais – US$ 120 billion. More than the GDP of many countries. And there are plenty of motives for spies to want access to the company’s protected network.
Petrobras has two supercomputers, used mainly for seismic research – which evaluate oil reserves from samples collected at sea. This is how the company mapped the Pre-salt layer, the largest discovery of new oil reserves in the world in recent years.
There is no information on the extent of the spying, nor if it managed to access the data contained in the company’s computers. It’s clear Petrobras was a target, but no documents show exactly what information the NSA searched for. But at any rate, Petrobras has strategic knowledge of deals involving billions of dollars.
For example, the details of each lot in an auction set for next month: for exploration of the Libra Field, in the Bay of Santos, part of the Pre-salt. Whether the spies had access to this information is one of the questions the Brazilian government will have to put to the United States.
Former Petrobras Director Roberto Villa considers this the greatest action in the history of oil exploration. “It’s a very peculiar auction. The auction of an area where we already know there’s oil, there’s no risk”, he says. What no one else should know, Villa says, is which are the richest lots. “Petrobras knows. And I hope only they know.” He considers that such information, if stolen, could give someone an advantage. “Someone would have an edge. If this information was leaked and someone else has obtained it, he would be in a privileged position at the auction. He’ll know where to invest and where not to. It’s a handy little secret.”
Another former Petrobras Director considers this a serious matter. “Commercially, internationally, this means a game with marked cards for some places, some countries, some friends,” says Antonio Menezes.
The Pre-salt oil is found at high seas, at depths of two thousand meters – below a layer of rocky salt, four kilometers below the ocean floor. Reaching this oil requires a lot of technology, and Petrobras is a world leader in deep-sea oil extraction.
Adriano Pires, a specialist in infrastructure, considers that spies could be specially interested in ocean-floor exploration technology. “Petrobras is the world’s number one in drilling for oil at sea. Pre-salt layers exist all around the world – there’s a pre-salt in Africa, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the North Sea. If I have this technology, I can drill for oil anywhere I want,” says Pires.
The NSA presentation contains documents prepared by the GCHQ – the British Spy agency, from a country that appears as an ally of the United States in spying. The British agency shows how two spy programs operate. “Flying Pig” and “Hush Puppy” also monitor private networks which carry supposedly secure information. These networks are known as TLS/SSL.
The presentation explains how data is intercepted, through an attack known as “Man in the Middle”. In this case, data is rerouted to the NSA central, and then relayed to its destination, without either end noticing.
A few pages ahead, the document lists the results obtained. “Results – what do we find?” “Foreign government networks”, “airlines”, “energy companies” – like Petrobras – and “financial organisations.”
TLS/SSL networks are also the security system used in financial transactions, such as when someone accesses their bank account through an ATM. The connection between a remote terminal and the bank’s central goes through a sort of secure tunnel through the internet. No one is supposed to see what travels through it.
Later, the NSA presentation shows in detail how the data of a chosen target is rerouted through spy filters beginning at the very source, until they reach the NSA’s supercomputers.
In this document the NSA names Latin America as a key target of the “SILVERZEPHYR” program, which collects the contents of voice recordings, faxes, as well as metadata, which is the overall information being transmitted in the network.
Last Sunday, Fantastico showed exclusively how the President of Brazil is a direct target of espionage.
On Thursday, President Dilma Rousseff met American counterpart Barack Obama at the G20 Summit in Russia, and she demanded explanations.
“This is what I asked: It’s very complicated for me to learn about these things through the press. I read something one day, then two days later I learn something else, and this goes on piece by piece. I’d like to know what exists (about spying). I want to know what’s going on. If there is something or not, I want to know. Is it real or not? Besides what’s been published by the press, I want to know everything they have regarding Brazil. The word ‘everything’ is very comprehensive. It means all. Every bit. In English, ‘everything’.” – the President told a press conference on Friday.
On the day Rousseff and Obama met, a story published simultaneously by British newspaper The Guardian and the American New York Times revealed that the NSA and the British GCHQ broke the protected communication codes of several internet providers – enabling them to spy on the communications of millions of people, and also on banking transactions.
The story shows that cryptography, the system of codes provided by some internet operators, comes with a built-in vulnerability, inserted on purpose by the NSA, which allows the spies to enter the system, copy, snoop, even make alterations, without leaving footprints. There is also evidence that some equipment put together in the United States comes with factory-installed spying devices.
The “New York Times” says this was done with at least one foreign government that bought American computers. But it does not reveal which government payed to be spied upon.
Lastly, another document obtained by Fantastico shows who are the spies’ clients – who gets the information obtained: American diplomats, the intelligence agencies, and the White House. It proves that spying doesn’t have as its sole purpose the fight against terrorism. On this list of objectives are also diplomatic, political and economic information.
Petrobras declined to comment. President Dilma Rousseff awaits clarifications by the U.S. government later this week.
The NSA has sent a statement attributed to James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, declaring that the agency collects information in order to give the United States and their allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy and also to provide insight into other countries’ economic policy or behavior which could affect global markets.
The statement also stresses that the collected intelligence is not used “to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of – or give intelligence we collect to – US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
The UK Foreign Office in London and the British Embassy in Brasilia declared they do not comment on intelligence-related issues.
Globo TV – Fantástico
Edição do dia 08/09/2013
08/09/2013 22h52 – Atualizado em 09/09/2013 00h07
Find this story at 9 September 2013
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NSA Spied On Brazil, Mexico Leaders, Glenn Greenwald Says
November 8, 2013
RIO DE JANEIRO — The Brazilian government condemned a U.S. spy program that reportedly targeted the nation’s leader, labeled it an “unacceptable invasion” of sovereignty and called Monday for international regulations to protect citizens and governments alike from cyber espionage.
In a sign that fallout over the spy program is spreading, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that President Dilma Rousseff is considering canceling her October trip to the U.S., where she has been scheduled to be honored with a state dinner. Folha cited unidentified Rousseff aides. The president’s office declined to comment.
The Foreign Ministry called in U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon and told him Brazil expects the White House to provide a prompt written explanation over the espionage allegations.
The action came after a report aired Sunday night on Globo TV citing 2012 documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden that indicated the U.S. intercepted Rousseff’s emails and telephone calls, along with those of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose communications were being monitored even before he was elected as president in July 2012.
Mexico’s government said it had expressed its concerns to the U.S. ambassador and directly to the U.S. administration.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said, “We’re going to talk with our partners, including developed and developing nations, to evaluate how they protect themselves and to see what joint measures could be taken in the face of this grave situation.”
He added that “there has to be international regulations that prohibit citizens and governments alike from being exposed to interceptions, violations of privacy and cyberattacks.”
Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo said at a joint news conference with Figueiredo that “from our point of view, this represents an unacceptable violation of Brazilian sovereignty.”
“This type of practice is incompatible with the confidence necessary for a strategic partnership between two nations,” Cardozo said.
Earlier, Sen. Ricardo Ferraco, head of the Brazilian Senate’s foreign relations committee, said lawmakers already had decided to formally investigate the U.S. program’s focus on Brazil because of earlier revelations that the country was a top target of the NSA spying in the region. He said the probe would likely start this week.
“I feel a mixture of amazement and indignation. It seems like there are no limits. When the phone of the president of the republic is monitored, it’s hard to imagine what else might be happening,” Ferraco told reporters in Brasilia. “It’s unacceptable that in a country like ours, where there is absolutely no climate of terrorism, that there is this type of spying.”
During the Sunday night TV program, U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Rio de Janeiro and first broke the story about the NSA program in Britain’s Guardian newspaper after receiving tens of thousands of documents from Snowden, told the news program “Fantastico” that a document dated June 2012 shows that Pena Nieto’s emails were being read. The document’s date is the month before Pena Nieto was elected.
The document indicated who Pena Nieto would like to name to some government posts, among other information.
It’s not clear if the spying continues.
As for Brazil’s leader, the NSA document “doesn’t include any of Dilma’s specific intercepted messages, the way it does for Nieto,” Greenwald told The Associated Press in an email. “But it is clear in several ways that her communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats.”
The U.S. targeting mapped out the aides with whom Rousseff communicated and tracked patterns of how those aides communicated with one another and also with third parties, according to the document.
In July, Greenwald co-wrote articles in the O Globo newspaper that said documents leaked by Snowden indicate Brazil was the largest target in Latin America for the NSA program, which collected data on billions of emails and calls flowing through Brazil.
The spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Brazil’s capital, Dean Chaves, said in an emailed response that U.S. officials wouldn’t comment “on every specific alleged intelligence activity.” But he said, “We value our relationship with Brazil, understand that they have valid concerns about these disclosures, and we will continue to engage with the Brazilian government in an effort to address those concerns.”
In Mexico City, the Mexican foreign ministry said it sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. asking for a thorough investigation of the report’s claims. It said officials also summoned the U.S. ambassador to express Mexico’s concerns.
“Without assuming the information that came out in the media is accurate, Mexico’s government rejects and condemns any espionage activity on Mexican citizens that violate international law,” the Foreign Relations Department said. “This type of practice is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.”
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico highlighted the “close cooperation” of Mexico and the U.S. in many areas, but said it wouldn’t comment on the NSA program or its alleged targeting of the Mexican leader.
Associated Press writer Bradley Brooks reported this story in Rio de Janeiro and Marco Sibaja reported in Brasilia. Associated Press writer Michael Weissenstein in Mexico City contributed to this report.
By BRADLEY BROOKS and MARCO SIBAJA 09/02/13 07:38 PM ET EDT
Find this story at 2 September 2013
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NSA ‘spied on Brazil and Mexico’ – Brazilian TV report
November 8, 2013
Brazil says it will demand an explanation from the US after allegations that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Brazilian government communications.
The allegations were made by Rio-based journalist Glenn Greenwald in a programme on TV Globo on Sunday.
Mr Greenwald obtained secret files from US whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Communications from the Mexican president were also accessed by the NSA, Mr Greenwald said.
The US ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, was briefly summoned to the Brazilian foreign ministry, “to explain” the claims made by the American journalist.
He did not speak to reporters when he left, and there have been no comments from the foreign ministry either.
‘Attack on sovereignty’
Mr Greenwald, a columnist for the British Guardian newspaper, told TV Globo’s news programme Fantastico that secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed how US agents had spied on communications between aides of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazil’s Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said that “if these facts prove to be true, it would be unacceptable and could be called an attack on our country’s sovereignty”.
According to the report, the NSA also used a programme to access all internet content that Ms Rousseff visited online.
Her office said the president was meeting top ministers to discuss the case.
The BBC’s Julia Carneiro in Sao Paulo says that the suspicion in Brazil as to why the United States is allegedly spying Brazilian government communications is because Brazil is a big player and there are lots of commercial interests involved.
The report also alleges that the NSA monitored the communications of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, even before he was elected in July last year.
Mr Greenwald said that a document dating from June 2012 showed that Mr Pena Nieto’s emails were being read.
A spokesman for the Mexican foreign ministry told the Agence France Presse news agency that he had seen the report but had no comment.
The documents were provided to Mr Greenwald by ex-US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum in Russia after leaking secret information to media in the US and Britain.
Mr Greenwald was the first journalist to reveal the secret documents leaked by Mr Snowden on 6 June. Since then, he has written a series of stories about surveillance by US and UK authorities.
The detention last month for nine hours at London’s Heathrow airport of Mr Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, caused widespread controversy in the UK and abroad.
Mr Greenwald said the detention of his partner amounted to “bullying” and was “clearly intended to send a message of intimidation” to those working on the NSA revelations.
2 September 2013 Last updated at 12:20 ET
Find this story at 2 September 2013
BBC © 2013 The BBC
The NSA’s mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians<< oudere artikelen
August 16, 2013
As it does in many non-adversarial countries, the surveillance agency is bulk collecting the communications of millions of citizens of Brazil
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The National Security Administration headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. Whistleblower Edward Snowden worked as a data miner for the NSA in Hawaii. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
I’ve written an article on NSA surveillance for the front page of the Sunday edition of O Globo, the large Brazilian newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro. The article is headlined (translated) “US spied on millions of emails and calls of Brazilians”, and I co-wrote it with Globo reporters Roberto Kaz and Jose Casado. The rough translation of the article into English is here. The main page of Globo’s website lists related NSA stories: here.
As the headline suggests, the crux of the main article details how the NSA has, for years, systematically tapped into the Brazilian telecommunication network and indiscriminately intercepted, collected and stored the email and telephone records of millions of Brazilians. The story follows an article in Der Spiegel last week, written by Laura Poitras and reporters from that paper, detailing the NSA’s mass and indiscriminate collection of the electronic communications of millions of Germans. There are many more populations of non-adversarial countries which have been subjected to the same type of mass surveillance net by the NSA: indeed, the list of those which haven’t been are shorter than those which have. The claim that any other nation is engaging in anything remotely approaching indiscriminate worldwide surveillance of this sort is baseless.
As those two articles detail, all of this bulk, indiscriminate surveillance aimed at populations of friendly foreign nations is part of the NSA’s “FAIRVIEW” program. Under that program, the NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company, the identity of which is currently unknown, and that US company then partners with telecoms in the foreign countries. Those partnerships allow the US company access to those countries’ telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA’s repositories. Both articles are based on top secret documents provided by Edward Snowden; O Globo published several of them.
The vast majority of the GuardianUS’s revelations thus far have concerned NSA domestic spying: the bulk collection of telephone records, the PRISM program, Obama’s presidential directive that authorizes domestic use of cyber-operations, the Boundless Informant data detailing billions of records collected from US systems, the serial falsehoods publicly voiced by top Obama officials about the NSA’s surveillance schemes, and most recently, the bulk collection of email and internet metadata records for Americans. Future stories in the GuardianUS will largely continue to focus on the NSA’s domestic spying.
But contrary to what some want to suggest, the privacy rights of Americans aren’t the only ones that matter. That the US government – in complete secrecy – is constructing a ubiquitous spying apparatus aimed not only at its own citizens, but all of the world’s citizens, has profound consequences. It erodes, if not eliminates, the ability to use the internet with any remnant of privacy or personal security. It vests the US government with boundless power over those to whom it has no accountability. It permits allies of the US – including aggressively oppressive ones – to benefit from indiscriminate spying on their citizens’ communications. It radically alters the balance of power between the US and ordinary citizens of the world. And it sends an unmistakable signal to the world that while the US very minimally values the privacy rights of Americans, it assigns zero value to the privacy of everyone else on the planet.
This development – the construction of a worldwide, ubiquitous electronic surveillance apparatus – is self-evidently newsworthy, extreme, and dangerous. It deserves transparency. People around the world have no idea that all of their telephonic and internet communications are being collected, stored and analyzed by a distant government. But that’s exactly what is happening, in secrecy and with virtually no accountability. And it is inexorably growing, all in the dark. At the very least, it merits public understanding and debate. That is now possible thanks solely to these disclosures.
The Guardian’s reporting
One brief note on the Guardian is merited here: I’ve been continuously amazed by how intrepid, fearless and committed the Guardian’s editors have been in reporting these NSA stories as effectively and aggressively as possible. They have never flinched in reporting these stories, have spared no expense in pursuing them, have refused to allow vague and baseless government assertions to suppress any of the newsworthy revelations, have devoted extraordinary resources to ensure accuracy and potency, and have generally been animated by exactly the kind of adversarial journalistic ethos that has been all too lacking over the last decade or so (see this Atlantic article from yesterday highlighting the role played by the Guardian US’s editor-in-chief, Janine Gibson).
I don’t need to say any of this, but do so only because it’s so true and impressive: they deserve a lot of credit for the impact these stories have had. To underscore that: because we’re currently working on so many articles involving NSA domestic spying, it would have been weeks, at least, before we would have been able to publish this story about indiscriminate NSA surveillance of Brazilians. Rather than sit on such a newsworthy story – especially at a time when Latin America, for several reasons, is so focused on these revelations – they were enthused about my partnering with O Globo, where it could produce the most impact. In other words, they sacrificed short-term competitive advantage for the sake of the story by encouraging me to write this story with O Globo. I don’t think many media outlets would have made that choice, but that’s the kind of journalistic virtue that has driven the paper’s editors from the start of this story.
This has been a Guardian story from the start and will continue to be. Snowden came to us before coming to any other media outlet, and I’ll continue to write virtually all NSA stories right in this very space. But the O Globo story will resonate greatly in Brazil and more broadly in Latin America, where most people had no idea that their electronic communications were being collected in bulk by this highly secretive US agency. For more on how the Guardian’s editors have overseen the reporting of the NSA stories, see this informative interview on the Charlie Rose Show from last week with Gibson and Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger:
theguardian.com, Sunday 7 July 2013 00.32 BST
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