On Tuesday, the Brazilian Senate formed an investigative parliamentary commission to probe reported allegations that the US National Security Agency spied on Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.
Lawmakers are calling for the federal protection of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda for the important role they are to play in the investigation.
On Sunday, Greenwald put forth the concerning allegations on the Brazilian news program Fantástico, where he displayed documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that showed a chart mapping Dilma Rousseff’s communications patterns. One of the documents also exposed passages of written messages sent by Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, who was still a candidate at the time.
The allegations may be a retaliatory response to the unlawful detainment of Brazilian national David Miranda, who was interrogated for nine hours under UK terrorism law at London’s Heathrow airport on August 18. Brazil had openly called the detainment “unjustified” and was described by Greenwald as an intimidation tactic aimed at journalists.
The 11 member committee will have 180 days to investigate the allegations that the NSA tapped Rousseff’s phone and monitored personal emails to top aides.
The investigative period can be extended 180 days if the commission needs more time, reports Yahoo News.
Senator Vanessa Graziotin, of the Communist Party of Brazil, said the intention of the probe was to protect Brazil’s sovereignty.
Thursday, a Brazilian spokeswoman said Rousseff’s October 23 visit to Washington “was cancelled.”
Though the spokeswoman did not explain why the trip was cancelled, it can obviously be explained by the reaction of the Brazilian Senate.
The visit was intended to highlight the healthy economic relationship between the US and Brazil and was the only invitation extended by Obama this year.