Brazil Moves to Secure Telecom, Internet Systems after US Spying

AFP
August 14, 2013

 

Brazil said Wednesday it is moving to secure its communications through its own satellite and digital networks to end its dependence on the United States, which is accused of electronically spying on the region.

“Brazil is in favor of greater decentralization: Internet governance must be multilateral and multisectoral with a broader participation,” Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo told a congressional panel.

Tuesday, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota warned his US counterpart John Kerry that the row over Washington’s electronic snooping could sow mistrust between the two countries.

Kerry responded by conceding that Brasilia was owed answers from Washington and would get them.

He suggested that the vast US surveillance program aimed to “provide security, not just for Americans, but for Brazilians and the people of the world.”

But Bernardo Wednesday criticized the “strong concentration of (Internet) traffic” by US firms.

Revelations by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden about the vast scope of US electronic surveillance programs have caused deep unease in Brazil and other Latin American countries that have reportedly been targeted by the spying.

Bernardo said Brasilia was finalizing the selection of companies that will be tasked with building and launching a geostationary defense and strategic communications satellite.

Tuesday, French-Italian group Thales Alenia Space (TAS) said it had won a contract worth about $400 million to build a satellite for Brazil’s developing space program.

The order, placed by Visiona — jointly owned by Brazilian aeroplane maker Embraer and telecom provider Telebras — is for a geostationary satellite for civil and military use.

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