10/07/2013 11:27 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Brazil spying allegations elicit no comment from Canada

Canadian officials are refusing to respond to allegations reported by a Brazilian television network that the Communications Security Establishment Canada used phone and email metadata to map the communications of Brazil's Mines and Energy Ministry.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson wouldn't address the allegations, reported Sunday based on information leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. 

- Canadian spies targeted Brazil's mines ministry: report

"We do not comment on foreign intelligence gathering activities. Under the law, this organization cannot target Canadians," Julie Di Mambro said an in emailed statement to CBC News.

Brazil and Canada have several industries that compete with each other, including mining and aerospace. Brazil is Latin America's biggest country.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper would neither confirm nor deny the allegations when asked to respond to the report late Sunday night.

The "CSEC does not comment on its specific foreign intelligence activities or capabilities," said Harper's communications director, Jason MacDonald.