Brazil Has Spied on Foreign Diplomats Too

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Brazil's Institutional Security Cabinet admitted on Monday that it had previously spied on diplomats from Russia, Iran and the United States using what The New York Times describes as "relatively basic surveillance."

Unlike the NSA's current techniques of cracking into pretty much anything that has a chip inside, the Brazilian operations involved following "diplomats from Russia and Iran on foot and by car, photographing their movements, while also monitoring a commercial property leased by the United States Embassy in Brasília, the capital." The events occurred about a decade ago, and were first reported by Folha de São Paulo.

The report describes how the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, also known as Abin, carried out surveillance on foreign targets, and an agent interviewed by the paper said that their targeting of Iranian diplomats was likely at the behest of another nation.

Still, the allegations seem fairly anodyne compared to the revelations surrounding the NSA's surveillance procedures, which caused the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to cancel a visit tothe U.S. back in September. Brazil and Germany have since taken their spying concerns to the U.N.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.