12 Jul 2013 11:19

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 9 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) -- The U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, on Monday rejected Brazil's accusation that the U.S. government has been spying on Brazilian citizens and companies over the past years.

Shannon told reporters after meeting Brazilian Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo that the story in local daily O Globo on Sunday presents an "incorrect image" of the U.S. intelligence programme.

"The story ran in O Globo presented an incorrect image of our programme, so we are working with Brazil to answer their questions," the Ambassador said, stressing that his country will continue to collaborate with Brazil in the intelligence field.

The story detailed how the massive National Security Agency (NSA) espionage scheme leaked by Edward Snowden affected Brazilians.

Shannon did not, however, answer any questions on whether the U.S. had actually monitored millions of calls and e-mails made by Brazilian citizens, the daily reported.

According to O Globo, Brazil was a priority target of NSA's surveillance programme, which also affected a number of other countries.

Brazil's National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) announced Monday that it has launched an investigation into whether any U.S. firms operating in the country "in any way violated the privacy of personal data and phone calls."