An NSA training slide leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that the agency broke into computer systems run by Petrobras, Brazil's state oil company; the President of Brazil; SWIFT, the global payments clearinghouse; and the networks of Google's Brazilian offices. The slide listed the reason for the intrusions as "economic." The NSA doesn't deny it, but says that despite the "economic" nature of their crime, it was not about "stealing trade secrets" but rather something to do with terrorism, yadda yadda, blah blah blah.
The television network, which reported a week ago that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted phone calls and e-mails of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, aired slides from an NSA presentation from 2012 that explained the agency’s capability to penetrate private networks of companies such as Petrobras, as the oil company is known, and Google Inc.
One slide in the presentation listed “economic” as an intention for spying, as well as diplomatic and political reasons. None of the documents revealed the motivation for the alleged spying on Petrobras, according to Globo.
Snowden Documents Show U.S. Spied on Petrobras, Globo TV Reports [Gabrielle Coppola/Bloomberg]
In a new paper in Progress, Oxford economist Vuk Vukovic argues that the key to re-election in local politics is to be just corrupt enough: giving lucrative contracts and other benefits to special interests who’ll fund your next campaign, but not so much that the people refuse to vote for you.
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