The scene: A hailstorm of metrosexual dailies have picked up Sunday’s Fantástico segment about NSA espionage allegedly targeting Petrobras.
Still, details were sparse in the report as to precisely what information the N.S.A. may have obtained from spying on Petrobras, raising questions about what objectives the agency could have in targeting the company, which is controlled by Brazil’s government and ranks among the world’s largest oil producers.
In Brazil, protectionist calls for the cancellation of an oil-field auction scheduled for October.
Jornal GGN – The revelation that the NSA spied on Petrobras could place at risk the first pre-salt auction, schedule for October 21.
The next round of auctions is the first to involve the pre-salt layer and will offer for sale the proven reserves of the Libra field, the largest yet discovered in Brazil. The accusation of espionage was broadcast Sunday in a report by Globo’s Fantástico.
Co-produced by TV Globo and Brazil-based American reporter Glenn Greenwald, the segment indicates that the state-owned oil company has been monitored for some time by the United States. Greenwald obtained the information based on secret documents leaked by former NSA agent Edward Snowden, currently in exile in Russia.
The segment shows documents from an NSA presentation to agents dated in June 2012. Striking is the mention of Petrobras in the beginning of the presentation, alongside Google, French diplomats and the international bank transaction network SWIFT.
Odd that SWIFT — guardian of that holy of the holies financial privacy — would not have screamed bloody murder by now, with the might of the megabanks behind it.
Members of a Brazilian movement contrary to the privization of Brazilian oil, which has defended an end to handing over Brazilian reserves to foreign companies, now sees in the confirmation of espionage sufficent reason to cancel the auction, in which multinationals, some of them America, are to participate. “This is an auction in which somebody ha privileged information; the transaction is adulterated. It should be suspended immediately, regardless of any other consideration, and investigated,” says the economist André Bucaresky, director of the Rio de Janeiro chapter of the Sindipetro union.
The union will hold a demonstration protesting the espionage at Petrobras and calling for the cancellation of the Libras auction, this Wedesday (11), at 5:00 p.m. at the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro.
Everything PR notes:
Globo, in conjunction with Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, had released previous documents leaked by NDA contractor Edward Snowden. James Clapper, Director of the NSA, told various newspapers that the agency did collect information about economic and financial matters to combat terror and to possibly predict catastrophic economic situations.
Of course Brazil has demanded a full explanation and disclosure on the situation. So far an impromptu meeting in between Brazil’s President Rousseff and US President Obama at the G20 in Russia led to assurances from Obama that he would investigate the matter.
Everyone knows the Brazil oil finds recently bear special import for Western Hemisphere countries. Estimates suggest Brazil’s new fields could contain as much as 100 billion barrels of crude.
Filed under: Brazil