US spied on Google, French foreign ministry, Brazil's Petrobras

US spied on Google, French foreign ministry, Brazil's Petrobras
A demonstrator holds up a picture of the former technical contractor of the US Central Intelligence Agency Edward Snowden during a protest in support of him in Paris on July 7, 2013.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Rio de Janeiro - A leaked US intelligence document highlighted Google, Brazilian oil giant Petrobras and the French foreign ministry as "targets", TV Globo has reported.

TV Globo said Sunday it obtained the information from Glenn Greenwald, a blogger and columnist for the Guardian newspaper, who got secret files from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The report on the Brazilian network's "Fantastico" show said the nature and extent of the alleged espionage was not known.

But a slide used as part of an NSA presentation dated June 2012 to train analysts listed the entities under the heading "Many targets use private networks."

Besides Petrobras, they included Google infrastructure, the French foreign ministry, and SWIFT, a provider of secure financial messaging services to 10,000 banks and other financial institutions in 212 countries.

Other names on the list were obscured so as not to compromise counterterrorism investigations, TV Globo said.

In a statement Sunday, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reiterated that the US intelligence does not steal trade secrets.

"The United States collects foreign intelligence -- just as many other governments do -- to enhance the security of our citizens and protect our interests and those of our allies around the world," he said.

It was "not a secret" that US intelligence agents collected economic and financial data, including information about terror financing, he stressed.

The practice helped provide the US and its allies with "early warning" of potential international financial crises, as well as about the economic policy or behaviour of other countries that could affect global markets.

"Our collection of information regarding terrorist financing saves lives," he added.

"What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of -- or give intelligence we collect to -- US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line."

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