Brazil Senate Committee to Probe US Spying
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Brazil's Senate formed an Investigative Parliamentary Commission Tuesday to follow up on reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on President Dilma Rousseff.
"We intend to protect national sovereignty," said Senator Vanessa Graziotin, of the Communist Party of Brazil (CPB).
The committee, composed of 11 main members and seven substitutes, initially has 180 days to investigate claims the NSA monitored emails between Rousseff and several of her top aides, and tapped her phone.
The investigative period can be extended by another 180 days if the commission needs more time, Xinhua reported.
As the committee's first order of business, members discussed the possibility of the state providing federal protection for Rio de Janeiro-based journalist Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda, considering them to be key witnesses in the investigation.
Greenwald was the first to break the story of Washington's global spying program, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. on espionage charges for revealing the surveillance scheme, has been given temporary asylum in Russia.
Miranda was recently interrogated for nine hours at London's Heathrow airport as he traveled from Germany to Brazil, and had his belongings confiscated. British officials said they were operating under an anti-terror law, but Greenwald said he believed it was an attempt to intimidate.
The Senate's decision to open an investigation follows the broadcast Sunday of a Brazilian television news program reporting the NSA spied on the highest levels of Brazil's government, even targeting the president.