Colombia NSA’s 3rd most spied on country in Latin America

(Photo: ClimateScienceWatch)

Colombia has been the third largest priority for espionage in Latin America by US intelligence agency NSA, behind only Brazil and Mexico.

According to secret documents obtained by Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the NSA was responsible for a constant flow of intelligence gathering on Colombia and other Latin American countries dating back to 2008.

Between January and March of this year, O Globo claim that the United States conducted espionage in Latin America using two programs, known as prism and boundless informant.

Prism allowed access to web chats, e mails and voice mails through social media sites such as facebook, google and youtube. Boundless informant however, sought to develop corporate partners, in an effort to “extend their reach” and receive access to international communications.

An undated document, named “Operation Silverzephyr” showed the NSA’s intent to build partnerships with private satellite operators, telephone and transmission networks.

O Globo claim that the United States were not only interested in military affairs, but used these programs to access the “trade secrets” of targeted nations. For example the oil sector in Venezuela and the energy sector in Mexico.

The NSA used prism to track FARC movements in Colombia and maps of the NSA obtained by the Brazilian publication highlight the importance of Colombian operations since 2008.

It should be noted however, that Bogota and Washington have had strong co operation throughout this period in an offensive against the guerrilla group.

In 2008, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador were monitored via X – Keyscore. This program allows the NSA to track the number of differing nationalities in a country at one time through the language used in their e mails. Coincidentally or not, Colombia and Ecuador were in a diplomatic crisis at this time, after Colombia attacked a FARC camp in Ecuador without warning.

While the documents obtained by O Globo contain no specific numbers, the color scale indicates that of March 2012 and 2013, Colombia was considered as relevant an espionage target as Brazil and Mexico.


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