Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

The Brazilian government has unveiled plans to block the controversial US spying agency, the National Security Agency (NSA) it has been revealed.

Proposals put forward so far include plans to lay an underwater fiber optic cable directly to Europe so as to avoid routing the country’s internet connections through the US.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced recently that her government would be creating its own secure email system to safeguard any communications in that country from monitoring by the NSA.

In a Twitter post she wrote: “We need more security on our messages to prevent possible espionage. This is the first step toward extending the privacy and inviolability of official posts.”

Last month, she raised her concerns about US intelligence agencies to the United Nations General Assembly and cancelled a state visit to Washington. Rousseff also announced that the country would host an international conference on internet governance in April.
Brazilian media outlets in recent months have published documents detailing how the NSA has spied on Rousseff’s official communications and her associates.

It is thought that the motives of the NSA spying operations are partly economic. According to leaked documents from Snowden, the US also monitored email and telephone communications at Petrobras, the oil corporation in which the Brazilian government holds a majority stake. Brazil possesses enormous offshore oil reserves.

But NSA director Keith Alexander, claimed that it was all a matter of “crossed wires.” (excuse the pun).

In an interview published by the New York Times, he said: “The way we’ve explained it to the American people has gotten them so riled up that nobody told them the facts of the program and the controls that go around it.”

The announcement comes just days after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the NSA after it emerged that they spied on French citizens.

He told reporters: “I have immediately summoned the US ambassador and he will be received this morning at the Quai d’Orsay [the French Foreign Ministry]. We must quickly assure that these practices aren’t repeated.”

He also branded the NSA spying as ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’.

Le Monde revealed in a report based on the security leaks of former CIA worker Edward Snowden that the NSA recorded 70.3 million phone calls between December 10, 2012, and January 8, 2013.

In France it reportedly utilises a program called ‘US-985D’ to listen in on specific telephone calls and pick up on text messages according to keywords used.

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