Brazil will buy a new satellite and build its own fiber-optic cable to try and avoid the bulk collection of their country's communications by the NSA. The country learned from stories sourced to Edward Snowden's NSA leaks that U.S. intelligence was collecting the emails, phone calls, and texts of its citizens in bulk, including those of its president Dilma Rousseff.
The country's plans also include directing its officials to use secure email platforms, uh, might not sound as secure from the NSA as once believed. Except the platform being pushed the hardest on government employes is the open-source-based Expresso, which could make it at least harder for the NSA to access. The new email security is also the least expensive of Brazil's new plans. According to Reuters, the country will drop $600 million to $650 million for a new satellite to relay much of the government's communications, including those of its military. The satellite will be built in France. Currently, they're using a privately-owned satellite that provides the country with little control over its security. And plans to expand fiber-optic connections to nearby countries for international communications are similarly expensive.
Even with the new plans in place, Brazil's legislators aren't particularly optimistic on their chances to totally avoid NSA surveillance Brazilian Senator Ricardo Ferraco, who headed up a parliamentary inquiry into NSA spying, put it this way to Reuters:
"But let's not kid ourselves. However much we do, it will never be enough to stop U.S. electronic surveillance, because today's technology is boundless."
But new technology and equipment isn't the only Brazilian response to the NSA revelations. President Rousseff is by all accounts furious about the extent of American interception in Brazilian communications. This week, she cancelled a trip by an advance team of aides to Washington D.C., who were supposed to start preparations for the president's planned trip to the U.S. in October. According to the AP, Rousseff and President Obama met today at the G20 summit, though the details of their conversation aren't out there. Rousseff is considered to be a bit more friendly to the U.S. than her predecessor, and the late October full state dinner was supposed to honor the increasing good will between the two countries. Now, Rousseff is deciding whether she'll cancel.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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