Lawmakers in Brazil said Monday they want to question Washington's ambassador here about revelations that the United States has collected and stored the e-mail and telephone records of millions of Brazilians.
We have to verify the veracity of the information that has been published in the press, the chairman of the Brazilian Senate's foreign relations committee, Ricardo Ferraço, told reporters.
Besides U.S. envoy Thomas Shannon, the committee will demand to hear from Brazil's foreign, defense and communications ministers, the senator said.
One of Brazil's leading newspapers, O Globo, published in its Sunday edition an expose of US surveillance efforts in country.
The article, based on documents provided by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, said the U.S. National Security Agency tapped into Brazil's telecommunications network via an unnamed American telecom company that obtained access through one or more Brazilian companies.
O Globo also said the NSA and CIA maintained an intelligence listening post in Brasilia until at least 2002.
The newspaper story prompted President Dilma Rousseff to express grave concern, while the Communications Ministry spoke of possible criminal prosecutions over the spying.
The U.S. Embassy is awaiting instructions from Washington on how to respond to the O Globo piece, the official Agencia Brasil news service said.
Rousseff is scheduled to travel to the United States in October for talks at the White House with President Barack Obama.
Ambassador Shannon is at the end of his tour (2009) since President Barack Obama has named Lilian Ayalde a career diplomat with a long experience in international cooperation and former ambassador to Paraguay as the next envoy to Brazil.