Brazil to Try Ducking the NSA With New Satellite

Cables, new email platform also intended to bulk up security

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 6, 2013 7:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Brazil was decidedly displeased when it learned that the NSA had been spying on its president, and it's sparing no expense in its response. The country is installing its own fiber-optic cables for direct-line communications with neighboring governments and urging officials to use a proprietary, secure email client, Reuters reports. Diplomats also suspect that Brazil specifically bought a new communications satellite from a French company, rather than a US or Japanese one, to avoid the NSA. It's set to be launched in 2016.

"Security has become a top concern," the head of Brazil's state-led telecom company admits, though he said price was the determining factor in choosing the satellite manufacturer. (Project's total cost: up to $650 million.) The cables, on the other hand, are a blatant attempt to avoid US networks. "The less your information travels around the world, the safer it will be," he says. Still, Brazil doesn't expect to evade Washington's prying eyes entirely. "Let's not kid ourselves," one Brazilian senator says. "However much we do, it will never be enough to stop US electronic surveillance, because today's technology is boundless."

President Obama talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, left, at the G20 summit in Russia today.
President Obama talks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, left, at the G20 summit in Russia today.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Now people understand the risk. When we started investing in Expresso six years ago, they said: 'Why bother developing a new tool if Gmail exists and is free?' - Marcos Melo, a manager at the state-run communications company developing the secure 'Expresso' email platform

Espionage has existed ever since nations existed, but it has reached unimaginable dimensions with the NSA. - Senator Ricardo Ferraco

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