Snowden, who revealed troves of classified information as he fled the United States in May, said in an open letter obtained Tuesday by the Associated Press that he would need political asylum to help investigate the spying because the U.S. “will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.” Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia for one year, has previously requested asylum from Brazil, among other countries. In the letter, he commended Brazil for its strong stance against U.S. surveillance since he revealed that the country was a primary target in Latin America.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry and the presidential office did not immediately comment on the letter, the AP reports.
The country has responded fiercely to the spying allegations — including that the NSA monitored President Dilma Rousseff’s cellphone — and Brazilian senators have called for Snowden’s help during hearings on the issue. In October, Rousseff canceled an official visit to the U.S., and she has moved to establish fiber optic lines directly between Europe and South America in an attempt to bypass U.S. spying capabilities.
After a federal judge ruled Monday that the NSA’s bulk collection of data on Americans’ phone calls likely violates the constitution, Snowden said he had leaked the classified information because of “my belief that the NSA’s mass-surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge” and that the ruling would prove to to be “the first of many.”