Edward Snowden offered to collaborate with Brazil’s investigation into the mass surveillance programs Tuesday, writing an open letter that hinted at his asylum request to the country.
In a letter published in the Folha De S. Paulo newspaper, Edward Snowden praised the “inspiring” reaction around the world – and in Brazil – after he unveiled the NSA’s far-reaching spying program, which included the monitoring of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s personal cellphone.
“I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so,” Edward Snowden wrote in An Open Letter to the Brazilian People.
“Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak,” he added.
Brazilian lawmakers have been trying to interview Snowden as part of their investigation but he seemed to suggest in his letter that he would only do so if he were welcomed into the country.
Edward Snowden previously requested asylum in Brazil but he has not received any response. He is currently living under temporary asylum in Russia, after spending weeks in limbo at Moscow’s international airport.
Documents Edward Snowden leaked exposed Brazil as the top NSA target in Latin America, with surveillance that included hacking into the network of state-run oil company Petrobras and monitoring Dilma Rousseff’s and ordinary Brazilians’ phones.
The revelations soured relations between Brazil and the US with President Dilma Rousseff canceling a state visit to Washington.
“Only three weeks ago, Brazil led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to recognize for the first time in history that privacy does not stop where the digital network starts, and that the mass surveillance of innocents is a violation of human rights,” Edward Snowden wrote, adding that “American officials should never decide the freedoms of Brazilian citizens.”
Edward Snowden’s open letter was also published on the Facebook page of David Miranda, partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first published Snowden’s leaks in June. David Miranda has started a petition calling for Brazil to offer Edward Snowden asylum.
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