Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua says US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden must be protected. “We have to protect him (Snowden) because he is a brave young man who dared to dismantle and put in evidence one of the most perverse mechanisms humans invented which is espionage against heads of state and against millions of men and women in the world,” Jaua said on Monday.
Condemning US’ global surveillance programs, Jaua also said, “It's unacceptable for (the US) to spy on us or any government in the world.”Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Russia in August, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries. On October 24, The Guardian said in a report that the NSA had monitored the telephone conversations of 35 world leaders. "A US official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders… Despite the fact that the majority is probably available via open source, the PCs [intelligence production centers] have noted 43 previously unknown phone numbers. These numbers plus several others have been tasked," according to a classified document provided by Snowden. MAM/AB/MAM