Brazil 'wants to question tech giants'

A reveller fancy dressed as a Facebook profile joins the Banda de Ipanama carnival street band as they parade along Ipanema beac
A reveller fancy dressed as a Facebook profile joins the Banda de Ipanama carnival street band as they parade along Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro on March 5, 2011

Shocked by evidence of eavesdropping on government communications, Brazilian police intend to ask US permission to question the heads of tech giants, Globo television reported Friday.

Police did not deny a request had been made to question directly the CEOs of giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Apple as Brazil investigates US electronic surveillance.

"An investigation is under way but we are not giving details. I am neither confirming nor denying the information," a Federal Police spokesman told AFP.

According to Globo, the want the United States to authorize investigations outside Brazil under a bilateral agreement on judicial issues between the countries.

Globo reported Brazil's request will be made to the US Justice Department.

A number of technology executives have already been questioned in Brazil and have denied making information on their clients available to US intelligence.

The Federal Police have already asked for permission to question former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently in Russia, having been granted temporary asylum.

The Brazilians want to question Snowden after he made a series of about US surveillance in Brazil.

Those disclosures prompted a furor in Brazil and President Dilma Rousseff last month cancelled a scheduled state visit to Washington following Snowden's revelations.

Some of the disclosures showed the United States had even monitored communications in Rousseff's office.

Also allegedly monitored was oil giant Petrobras.

Rousseff used her address to the UN General Assembly last month to condemn the and blast it as a breach of international norms.

She said electronic spying "has brought anger and repudiation" and lamented that "citizens' personal data and information have been indiscriminately targeted and intercepted."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also blasted the eavesdropping this week as something "just not done" between allies.

The Brazilian senate hopes eventually to be able to question Snowden via videolink and a congressional committee has contacted the Russian embassy with a view to that end.

Brazil has already separately targeted Google, opening a probe into allegations the tech giant engaged in anti-competitive practices in the domestic online search market.

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© 2013 AFP

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