Brazil demands explanation from Canada over spying report
“That is unacceptable between nations that are supposed to be partners,” Rousseff said via Twitter. “We repudiate this cyber warfare.” Rousseff, who cancelled a planned state visit to the United States this month because of previous reports that the NSA had spied on her telephone calls and emails, noted that Sunday’s report pointed to Canada’s interests in Brazilian mining, where many Canadian companies are active. By targeting the mines ministry, Rousseff said, Canadian spying is nothing less than industrial espionage. She has rejected U.S. explanations that NSA spying is aimed solely at identifying terrorist threats and is not motivated by commercial interests. “The United States and its allies must immediately stop their spying activity once and for all,” Rousseff tweeted. Brazil’s Foreign Ministry summoned Canada’s ambassador to demand an explanation for what it called a “serious and unacceptable violation” of Brazilian sovereignty and the right to privacy of its citizens and companies, a ministry statement said. The report broadcast on Sunday by TV Globo, which gave no evidence that any strategic data had been intercepted, follows earlier disclosures by the network that the NSA snooped on Rousseff herself. TV Globo also reported that the NSA hacked into the computers of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras. DIPLOMATIC STRAIN Angered by the reports of U.S. espionage, Rousseff cancelled the visit to Washington and, later, at an address before the U.N. General Assembly, denounced it as a violation of human rights and international law.
The statement did not provide any specific details on the government’s concerns, but it noted that MTS Allstream operates a national fiber optic network that provides critical telecom services to businesses and governments, including the Canadian government. The government declined to comment further. TAKEOVERS RARELY BLOCKED Canada has rarely used its veto power to block a foreign acquisition of a Canadian asset under the Investment Canada Act. The legislation gives the government wide-ranging powers to review whether such deals are of “net benefit” to the country and whether they pose a threat to national security. In 2010 it blocked mining giant BHP Billiton’s $39 billion bid for the world’s top fertilizer company Potash Corp, stating that the deal was not of “net benefit” to Canada. This followed a 2008 decision to block MacDonald Dettwiler’s attempt to sell its satellite division to Alliant Techsystems Inc, due to national security concerns. The rejection of the Allstream deal comes as struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd, one of Canada’s best- known technology companies, is in talks with foreign players including Cisco Systems, Google Inc and SAP about selling them all or parts of itself, sources have told Reuters. Accelero said in a statement it was “very disappointed” by the Canadian government’s unexpected rejection of its proposed acquisition of Allstream. “Throughout this process, we were comforted by Industry Canada that our filings were in order, our submissions complete and constructive, and our proposed binding undertakings serious and substantive so that the transaction would meet the ‘net benefit’ test,” Sawiris said in the statement. “We are disappointed by the Government of Canada’s unfounded and unexpected decision.” The decision also raises questions about the government’s stated goal of attracting foreign investment to boost competition in the telecom sector. The government was locked in a war of words with Canada’s top telecom players – Rogers Communications, BCE Inc and Telus Corp – over most of the summer. The three Canadian telecom giants accused the government of skewing rules for its wireless spectrum auction that began last month in favor of foreign players. The government countered that its rules were designed to boost competition in the sector and reduce prices for Canadian consumers.
Canada in diplomatic hot water following report it spied on Brazilian government
View gallery Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper waves as he boards a Royal Canadian Air Force plane before departing By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday he would not attend a November summit of the Commonwealth in Sri Lanka because of what he called human rights abuses on the island. “We remain disturbed by ongoing reports of intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, harassment of minorities, reported disappearances, and allegations of extra judicial killings,” he said in a statement. Sri Lanka’s envoy to Canada disputed Harper’s comments. The U.N.’s human rights chief said last month that Sri Lanka could be sliding toward an authoritarian system as President Mahinda Rajapaksa gathered power around him. Harper is the only leader from the Commonwealth, which groups Britain and many former colonies, to announce he will boycott the November summit. Britain also has criticized human rights in Sri Lanka. Harper said it was unacceptable that Sri Lanka had yet to investigate allegations of atrocities during and after a long civil war with Tamil rebels, which ended in 2009. Sri Lanka has long dismissed allegations its troops committed major crimes. “It is clear that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values, which are cherished by Canadians … I will not attend the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo,” he said. Chitranganee Wagiswara, Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Canada, disputed the idea that the human rights situation was bad. “We don’t accept what is being said,” she told Reuters by telephone, saying Harper himself had noted advances in human rights in 2011. “We know maybe there are many areas to (still) address but at the same time, over the last short period of four years we have made progress which is recognized by most in the international community,” she said. Canada will be represented in Colombo by Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to Foreign Minister John Baird. Wagiswara said no Commonwealth summit had ever seen 100 percent attendance by all the grouping’s leaders.
Canada PM to miss Commonwealth summit, cites Sri Lanka rights
Martin Rudner, a professor emeritus of international affairs at Carleton University, said the collection ofAforeign economic intelligence absolutely falls within CSECas mandate. While counterterrorism is likely the top priority for CSEC employees, among the other high priorities are counterespionage and the collection of foreign economic intelligence, he said. Brazil has made major discoveries of offshore oil and gas, he said. Itas natural then for Canada, as a major exporter of oil and gas, to want to know how much Brazil is producing and at what cost in order to remain competitive. Rudner added that CSECas activities and its compliance with the law are reviewed on an annual basis by a retired judge. Ray Boisvert, president of I-Sec Integrated Strategies and former assistant director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said Monday he doubted Canadaas alleged spy activities in Brazil were for economic advantage or a way to help the work of Canadian companies in South America. He cautioned against drawing conclusions from asnippetsa of leaked documents. aI think itas overblown. I donat see a smoking gun on this one,a he said. Boisvert said he couldnat see Canada awastinga its time targeting Brazil. CSECas roughly 2,000 employees are focused on counterterrorism and adeeply embeddeda in targeting abad guys,a such as Iran, he said. Boisvert suggested a likelier scenario was that Brazil was just part of a apaper exercise.a Before targeting the communications signals of a foreign country, it is not uncommon for CSEC to engage in awar gaminga exercises a test runs a on another foreign target with similar infrastructure, he said. According to CSISas most recent annual report, Canada remains an aattractive targeta for economic espionage because of its lead role in communications, biotechnology, mineral and energy extraction, aerospace and other fields. The report warned of threats from foreign state-owned enterprises or private firms with close ties to their home governments seeking to gain control of strategic sectors of the Canadian economy.