Views on Brazil's Step Away From US-centric Internet

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday postponed her next month’s scheduled trip to Washington, angering at the spying that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google. Rousseff ordered a series of measures to break away from the U.S.-centric Internet.

The Brazilian government's measures aim to:

  • Force Internet companies like Google and Facebook to build servers inside Brazil's borders so that they would be subject to Brazilian privacy laws.
  • Build more internet exchange points in order to route Brazilian traffic around potential spyware.
  • Launch a state-run email service through the postal service to act as an alternative to Gmail, Yahoo Mail and others.
  • Laying a new underwater cable to Europe so that Brazil can connect with those countries directly.

As released by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the NSA spied on the global internet, raising concerns on internet security and cyber-sovereignty worldwide.

On the other hand, the US government forced Hibernia Networks to tear up the supply contract with Huawei Marine Networks on the construction of the Project Express transatlantic cable, on the excuse of cyber security threat from China, as Huawei Marine Networks is a Chinese company.

Driving by the aggressive Brazilian measures against the NSA espionage and common concerns from other countries, it will boost the construction of new cables connecting Brazil to Europe, Africa, Asia directly, such as the BRICS Cable. And as common concerns rise that the US based internet companies and vendors such as Google, Facebook, Micrisoft, Cisco and TE Subcom are required by laws to release personal data or open backdoors to the US governmental authority for their spying on the internet, the non-US vendors such as Huawei Marine Networks may catch more share to supply equipment for non-US landing cable projects.

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