Feeds

Snowden: I'll swap you my anti-NSA knowhow for asylum ... Brazil says: Não

Whistleblower begs for protection in exchange for advice, says newspaper

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has apparently offered Brazil help in uncovering US surveillance of the South American nation – in a fresh plea for asylum.

In an open letter published today by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, it appears Snowden reckons he can assist in sniffing out NSA spying and protect peeps from foreign agencies. The missive was also distributed by ally David Miranda.

It's reported the Brazilian government swiftly turned down this latest request for protection, however.

Ex-CIA techie Snowden is hiding in Russia on a 12-month visa after blowing the lid off America's internet and phone monitoring programs in June: in a string of leaks to publications, it was subsequently claimed all manner of global communications, from citizens' personal web traffic to world leaders' phone calls, are being snooped on.

"Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paolo, the NSA can and does keep track of your location: they do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world. When someone in Florianopolis visits a website, the NSA keeps a record of when it happened and what you did there," reads the open letter.

"If a mother in Porto Alegre calls her son to wish him luck on his university exam, NSA can keep that call log for five years or more," it continued. "They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target's reputation."

In the missive, it's suggested the South American nation could offer Snowden legal protection from US authorities in exchange for his cooperation. Though it stops short of a formal request, the letter noted that "until a country grants permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with [Snowden's] ability to speak."

"Many Brazilian senators agree, and have asked for my assistance with their investigations of suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens," the letter continued.

"I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so - going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America!"

Snowden previously appealed to Brazil, and various other nations, for asylum after fleeing to Hong Kong with thousands of sensitive documents swiped from the NSA intranet. Now living in temporary exile in or around Moscow, Snowden has sought a permanent home, even in Western countries such as Germany. Russian President Vladimir Putin had described the whistleblower as an "unwanted gift".

Meanwhile, America's Obama administration is under increasing pressure to defend its spying agency, which claims it's acting in the interests of national security and to thwart terrorism. Yesterday, a US federal judge issued an injunction suspending the mass collection of phone logs by the NSA, though the decision will face a lengthy appeals process likely to reach as high as the US Supreme Court. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.