Brazil Seeks Online Independence From U.S. Spying

Activist Post

The pervasive spying of the United States on the citizens of the planet has countries who support privacy looking for solutions to thwart invasions. Additionally, the U.S. has initiated offensive cyber warfare programs that pose the threat of virtual military invasion, as was admitted to on Sunday by former NSA Director Michael Hayden.

In defending mass surveillance programs exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Hayden said the US “could be fairly charged with the militarization of the World Wide Web.” (Source)

Brazil is particularly up in arms over revelations that their president was spied upon, infrastructure was hacked, and Brazilian citizens were surveiled by the United States. Now it appears that Brazil is prepared to attempt a complete break from the centralized surveillance grid made operational by the United States in collusion with major tech companies.

Two tech solutions that Brazil has proposed are covered in the video below:

  1. Internet companies can set up local data storage to protect the most sensitive information and records, as well as demand that companies like Facebook and Google store their data locally.  
  2. Develop locally made equipment that would presumably not contain many of the NSA backdoors that have been revealed. 

However, developing a completely independent system might be easier said than done:

Developing sophisticated network technology within five years is “feasible but not necessarily probable,” said John Butler, a senior telecommunications services and equipment analyst with Bloomberg Industries. Proprietary routers and switches would be very difficult for Brazil to design and manufacture, and many of the hardware-based functions in these systems are now slowly being replaced with software, Butler said. 

‘Right Talent’ 

“It would be hard to rip out all the routers and switches in the public telecom network and replace them with proprietary government gear,” he said. “It depends on how dedicated they are, but it could be done with the right talent and resources in place.” (Source)

In the meantime, Brazil is looking toward non-tech solutions, such as strengthening their legislation with possible fines or revocation of licenses for those companies that collaborate to impose dragnet spying operations.

Full transcript with additional links:


Brazil is seeking to break away from the U.S.-centric Internet after NSA leaker Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying by Washington on foreign countries communications.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is demanding greater online independence for her country following allegations the NSA intercepted her personal communications, hacked a state-owned oil company and spied on Brazilian citizens. (Via Press TV, NBC)

The accusations were made after Snowden released more NSA files to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald last week, showing the state-owned oil company “ … Petrobras is among several targets for the [NSA’s] Blackpearl program, which extricates data from private networks … ” (Via The Guardian)

The documents also revealed the U.S. has been gathering information on Brazilian citizens through major tech companies like Facebook and Google, casting doubt on the agency’s claim it operates solely in the interest of national security.

A senior government official announced Monday Brazil may soon require the Internet companies to set up local data storage centers in the country to prevent NSA snooping. (Via WTOL)

And Bloomberg reports Brazil is also considering developing “ … locally made network equipment …” throughout South America that will defend the countries’ communications “ … against foreign spies.”

Rousseff is expected to announce Tuesday whether she will cancel a previously scheduled trip to Washington next month in response to the spying allegations.

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