Brasilia, July 8 (IANS) Brazil has asked the US to explain espionage conducted against Brazilian citizens and institutions as part of its global surveillance programme, a minister said.
"The Brazilian government asked, through Brazil's embassy in Washington as well as the US ambassador in Brazil, the US government to give explanations," Xinhua quoted Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota as saying.
The minister said the news about US intelligence agencies committing espionage against electronic and telephone communications of Brazilian citizens was received with "serious concern".
The Brazilian government will launch initiatives to forbid abuse and prevent invasion of privacy or virtual communication network users, the minister said.
The country will also demand the setting of "clear behaviour rules for countries on information and telecommunication area to guarantee cyber-security for the protection of the citizens' rights and the guard of all the countries' sovereignty", he said.
Brazilian daily O Globo Sunday published information about espionage against Brazilian citizens and companies, according to data released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who disclosed the US espionage programme PRISM.
According to O Globo, the number of Brazilian communications spied in January this year was nearly 2.3 billion.