Released today, was information that the NSA was tapping Brazil’s Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant partly owned by the state of Brazil,

These new disclosures contradict statements made as recently as today,  by the NSA denying espionage for economic purposes.  The disclosures were buried in the Snowden documents handed over to the Guardian, and Brazil’s Fanstastico.

“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..”

Additional targets include French diplomats, with access to the private network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France; 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.

Petrobras has two supercomputers, both hacked, 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.

The obvious conclusion one must make, is that information regarding the world’s largest potential oil deposits were leaked to US firms, allowing them to get to those exact spots,  before Brazil’s Petrobras could make their claims…

Unfortunately this will remain in the realm of speculation, because the Snowden documents do not describe what information was taken.  They just show evidence that the NSA was inside their computer systems browsing around. On those computers listed by IP’s in the Snowden documents,  were the details of each lot in an auction set for next month opening Brazil’s Libra Field, located in the Bay of Santos, part of the Pre-salt Oil Deposit.

The President of Brazil was also direct target of espionage.  She demanded explanations.  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.

In response, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence stressed “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 Brits were much more coy. declaring they do not comment on intelligence-related issues.

 

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