The journalist who published classified US documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden Glenn Greenwald said he possesses up to 20,000 secret US government files.
Greenwald made the comment before a Brazilian Senate foreign relations committee on Tuesday.
"I did not do an exact count, but he gave me 15,000, 20,000 documents. Very, very complete and very long," Greenwald told Brazilian lawmakers.
Moreover, Brazilian O Globo magazine recently published that Washington had maintained at one time a spy center in the capital of Brasilia as part of a network designed to intercept foreign satellite transmissions.
This prompted US Vice President Joe Biden last month to call Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to provide an explanation.
"The pretext [given by Washington] for the spying is only one thing: terrorism and the need to protect the [American] people. But the reality is that there are many documents which have nothing to do with terrorism or national security, but have to do with competition with other countries, in the business, industrial and economic fields," Greenwald noted on Tuesday.
In his Tuesday testimony, Greenwald described the system as not only able to collect metadata "but also the content of emails and what is being discussed in telephone conversations. It is a powerful program which frightens."
This comes as US President Barack Obama expressed "disappointment" over Russia's temporary asylum to Snowden instead of sending him back to the US to face espionage charges.
In response to the asylum, Obama had remarked that the situation reflected "underlying challenges" in dealing with Moscow.
"There have been times where they slip back into cold war thinking and a cold war mentality," Obama said on NBC's Tonight Show.
He further confirmed his trip to Russia to attend the G20 summit in September, which was earlier said to be postponed over the Snowden issue.
The White House had stated earlier in this regards that it was reevaluating the trip for its "utility."
Source: News Agencies, edited by website team