Rousseff says proven NSA spying on Petrobas will be industrial espionage

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Sep 14, 2013 07:12 AM EDT

On Monday, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said that should reports on United States spying on Brazilian oil company Petrobras were proven, its actions have no security justification and was tantamount to industrial espionage. Industrial espionage is defined by Investopedia as the theft of trade secrets by recording,copying or removal for use by a competitor.

Globo, a Brazilian television network, reported on Sunday that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States hacked into Petrobas's computer networks and other companies. Citing ex-NSA contractor and whistlerblower Edward Snowden, NSA also hacked into the computer networks of companies like Google Inc. US and Brazil had tense relations already triggered by previous reports of hacking by NSA on internet communications in Brazil, including Rousseff's communication.

Rousseff was already angry, demanding an explanation to the hacking reports. She said in a statement, "If the facts reported by the press are confirmed, it will be evident that the motive for the spying attempts is not security or the war on terrorism but strategic economic interests."

A lot of things would be in jeopardy should relations between the two states fell apart. Rousseff was due to  go to the White House for a state visit on October 23 to discuss with President Barack Obama a possible jet fighter deal worth USD4 billion, oil and biofuels technology cooperation and other commercial agreements. 

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