Bolivian President Evo Morales has stopped using email because he says U.S. intelligence agencies have hacked into his country’s online infrastructure.
“It was recommended to me that I not use email, and I’ve followed suit and shut it down,” he said.
The leftist government of Mr. Morales has been one of a number in Latin America vocally critical of U.S. hegemony in the Western hemisphere. Most recently, those tensions have crystalized around the fate of confessed National Security Agency leaker Edward J. Snowden.
Mr. Snowden has revealed U.S. foreign intelligence-gathering cyber operations against several other nations, including Germany, Brazil and China.
Mr. Snowden has been offered asylum by several countries in Latin America, including Bolivia, in the teeth of U.S. warnings about consequences for any country that shelters the self-proclaimed whistleblower — holed up without travel documents in the international transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since June.
Earlier this month, tension turned to fury when several U.S. allies in Europe, apparently believing Mr. Snowden might be on Mr. Morales‘ plane flying back from Russia, refused the aircraft overflight rights, forcing it to land unexpectedly in Vienna.
Mr. Morales said Saturday he had learned about the U.S. compromise of his e-mail at the Mercosur regional economic summit in Montevideo last week. He said the U.S. wanted to use the information it gleaned to plan an “invasion.”
Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told the same summit that more than 100 of his country’s officials were under electronic surveillance from a nation he did not name.