NSA Intercepts 98% of Latin American Communications: Assange
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts nearly all communications in the South American continent, the founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblower portal, Julian Assange, said Tuesday.
The website leaked a trove of documents over the weekend, implicating the NSA in wiretapping some 29 Brazilian high-level government and economic officials.
The revelations fueled a rift in bilateral ties created by similar disclosures in 2013, when Brazilian President Dilma Roussef’s communications were also revealed to have been tapped, Sputnik reported on Tuesday.
"Ninety-eight percent of Latin American communications are intercepted by the NSA while passing through the United States to the world," Assange said in an interview with Chile’s El Mostrador publication.
Assange stressed the role of Internet giants Google and Facebook in assisting the NSA with its dragnet data collection program.
"They are physically in the United States and therefore under their legal jurisdiction, with punitive laws used to force them to hand over the information they are collecting," Assange said.
On a global scale, the mastermind behind WikiLeaks lamented that neither company is "financially motivated to stop collecting the world’s information." The most recent disclosures of classified communications concern the NSA’s surveillance of French and German, in addition to Brazilian, officials.