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Brazil Announces Plans To Move Away From US-Centric Internet 285

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-their-toys-and-going-home dept.
trbdavies writes "The Associated Press reports: 'President Dilma Rousseff ordered a series of measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security following revelations 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. The leader is so angered by the espionage that on Tuesday she postponed next month's scheduled trip to Washington, where she was to be honored with a state dinner.' Among Brazil's plans are a domestic encrypted email service, laying its own fiber optic cable to Europe, requiring services like Facebook and Google to store data generated by Brazilians on servers located in Brazil, and pushing for 'international rules on privacy and security in hardware and software during the U.N. General Assembly meeting later this month.'"
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Brazil Announces Plans To Move Away From US-Centric Internet

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  • ballsy move (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dmitrygr (736758) <dmitrygr@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:04PM (#44887891) Homepage
    If this sticks, it will be awesome, not for the security but for the statement it makes. Way to go, Brazil!
    • Re:ballsy move (Score:5, Interesting)

      by morcego (260031) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:08PM (#44887935)

      As a Brazilian, I have to say this is just the typical "full of hot air" attitude of the current government.
      I don't expect anything more than some noise and a couple news flashes to come out of this. And a lot of wasted public money, probably being spent on companies owned by political cronies.

      This is the same president that published an executive order (has force of law) that changed our language to include a female inflection for the word "president" (which was a non gender specific word, to begin with)

      • Re:ballsy move (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LostMonk (1839248) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:57PM (#44888461)
        It might be only hot air on part of Brazil, but you can be sure that most governments of Europe and Scandinavia has similar feelings about it even if they aren't vocalizing it quite the same way.
        Every major government right now is doing some serious inspections of where is their data flowing through, where is it stored and how trusty are the interests of those who control them... And you can bet they are not liking the answers they are getting.
        • Re:ballsy move (Score:5, Interesting)

          by cbope (130292) on Thursday September 19, 2013 @03:04AM (#44891217)

          Exactly. A similar thing happened in Finland a few years ago. The previously state-run mobile phone and internet provider was sold to a Swedish company and as a result, the hub for all the data flowing into and out of this provider moved to Sweden. The problem was, the Finnish government used this provider, and suddenly all government data was "overseas". This was/is illegal. So, they had to quickly build new datacenters in Finland to host all the government data. I would also speculate that Sweden's close ties with the US had some impact to the urgency as well.

          Note, this was well before the whole Assange affair which also seems to smell of US interference/cooperation with the Swedish government in order to get him on Swedish soil so he can be extradited to the US for prosecution.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        As a Brazilian I agree. This is just political speech (a.k.a "BS"). Telebras, the "the state-run telecom company" is a skeleton company, brought back to life from the remnants of the archaic public telecom system to serve political interests. It brings Internet access to about 260 cities, out of 5570 on the country, most of all in sparse populated areas (http://www.telebras.com.br/cidades_com_oferta_PNBL_pela_Telebras_e_parceiros_ordem_alfabetica.pdf). Also the compel for Facebook, Google, etc "to store d

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tiger4 (840741)

      Its a great thing to decentralize from the US. BUT, it could just as easily mean more fragmentation. Just like China has the Great Firewall, Brazil could as easily make you swim the Great River Amazon. No I don't expect them to, but nothing says they can't. And worse, if more countries follow, more fragmentation of the same could make navigating the internet as bad as in the days of dial-up.
      Or, you could get the UN and ITU thinking they know how to govern and make it all one big happy bureaucratic world

      • Re:ballsy move (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:21PM (#44888093) Journal

        Lots more international fibre might be a good thing rather that treating the US as a passive hub.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          Lots more international fibre might be a good thing rather that treating the US as a passive hub.

          My doctor says I should eats lots more fibre, but the international part kinda violates the greenie mantra of "buy local", doesn't it?

      • Re:ballsy move (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Teancum (67324) <{ten.orezten} {ta} {gninroh_trebor}> on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @06:58PM (#44888971) Homepage Journal

        It wouldn't hurt for Brazil to have more physical connections with other Latin American countries as well as other countries relatively near, such as perhaps a direct link to South Africa and Spain/Portugal (aka something across the Atlantic). Unfortunately west Africa isn't exactly an economic hot spot in the world and would be the easiest to reach.

        What I don't understand is why you or anybody else is worried about "fragmentation" on this issue? Fragmentation of IP addresses? I thought IPv6 pretty much solved that problem anyway (with enough address space so every person can have thousands of IP addresses and still have room left over for governments and corporations). Routers can do a pretty good job of finding network addresses in even a very fragmented world infrastructure as that is sort of why they were invented in the first place. Network traffic certainly doesn't need to go into America first.

        The "bad old days of dial up access" was mostly an issue of finding an ISP in your neighborhood.... which was eventually solved with pools of dial up access and then widespread DSL coverage. If you are complaining about bandwidth, I hardly think that is going to be a problem with additional links and physical connections between people in more distant parts of the world from the primary corridors of telecommunications. If anything, bandwidth will improve if peripheral edges of networks are connected as well as improving reliability. Fragmentation actually improves things as opposed to making it worse.

        Perhaps you are complaining about fragmentation of services like more kinds of websites that are "portals". Would it be a bad thing if those services are broken up and people use things other than Google's gmail?

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:06PM (#44887913)
    And they're going to do all that with Cisco routers, right? LOL
  • by sethstorm (512897) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:07PM (#44887923) Homepage

    At any point in that chain, the US can still snoop or put US-friendly people/technology in place.

  • by themushroom (197365) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:07PM (#44887933) Homepage

    are outside Brazil, such as the United States, because beside a small collection of servers you want to call secure and local (Brazil's own webmail server, for instance) everything else is "out there". Including most of the "Brazillian content" such as info about the Rio '16 Olympics and all those hot photos of women at Carnivale.

    • also wanted to add: Learn from China, Brasil, that while you can go at it alone, your people will still go under the wall for what they're looking for.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      No, most content of interest to Brazilians is hosted inside Brazil. Even stuff on US sites is served from CDNs inside the country. Brazilians mostly look at local sites anyway, except for search engines and some social networks, and the government has already said it wants to make sure they keep Brazilian data in Brazil.

      It's also a nice way to talk down US sites and products so that Brazilian ones can compete with them, similar to how the US has already banned Chinese telecoms equipment because it's too che

      • by Teancum (67324)

        The U.S. government has banned the use of Chinese telecom equipment by U.S. government agencies not because it is too cheap or too good, but because it is compromised and is used by the People's Liberation Army to spy on the U.S. government. Not that the U.S. government has never done something like that to other countries.

        There is no ban on such equipment by ordinary Americans or even American companies. You just can't directly use that stuff if you are involved in government contracts. On the other han

  • by Anonymous Coward

    fuck up pings for brazillians playing mmorpgs on u.s. servers.

    signed.

    the american gamer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:12PM (#44887997)

    I'll build my own internet! With blackjack! And hookers!

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:19PM (#44888071)

    Our Global Suction strategy is blowing up in our face. We were perceived as an honest broker, now we're going to find our control increasingly challenged and marginalized. I've been reading more and more about everyone from individual users to companies to now nations basically giving us the finger. Any tactic we're employing with geopolitical repercussions that can be blown out of the water by one disgruntled contractor was woefully conceived.

    I don't know what annoys me more; the dragnetting or the fact that they did such a crappy job of keeping it under wraps.

    • by Wolfling1 (1808594) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:59PM (#44888473) Journal
      +1
      I'm astonished at the posts in this thread that have been modded up, but just don't get this point. This is about the only one I've seen so far that is truly insightful. The NSA's dragnetting is why we can't have good things. It will progressively push all other countries to legislate that information on their citizens must be hosted inside their borders. And Brazil's approach is the right one. They won't go after their citizens, or the big bad NSA. They'll just go after the businesses themselves. For companies like Google, this will be an inconvenience, but for any small company wanting to do international business on the internet, their options just evaporated. Here's hoping that they'll get some international law in place to declare the NSAs actions illegal - and some decent penalties applied at a 'per capita' rate.
  • by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:25PM (#44888135)

    Funny thing is, that's how the internet is supposed to be. The only things that are common are the protocols used to communicate between networks. The idea that everything should be consolidated into one system is not in the spirit of the internet. It is the centralized systems that are ripe for abuse by large organizations. As an aside, terrorists operate in cells rather than with a strong command hierarchy for the same reason.

    Now, if the Brazilians can design their own microprocessors and switch to a flavor of Linux, they might have a shot at being secure.

  • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:29PM (#44888175) Journal
    Because if current rates of adoption are any indication, an ipv6 internet won't be US-centric for years to come.
    • Afaict most of the major backbone operators and hosting providers have IPv6 available. It's the access providers who are dragging their heels and that doesn't really affect whether international IPv6 traffic goes through the US or not.

  • I called it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:42PM (#44888285) Homepage

    Trust in anything connected with the US is done. Other governments and other people are VERY aware of what the US influence has been doing. They are also very aware that Brazil's financial systems didn't crash because they didn't do what the rest of the world did. A lot of things aren't being talked about but the leaders know what's what but they don't know how to escape the net which the powers behind the US have put over everyone else. BRIC will make the changes the rest of the world will be inclined to follow.

    I never thought there would be a year of Linux on the desktop, but something like it is becoming more and more possible in other nations.

    Things are changing and they're going to change a lot more before it's done.

  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc (964165) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:43PM (#44888293)
    Our government deserves to get slapped in the face at every turn by every other country over the heavy handed and far overreaching actions of the NSA. I hope the condemnations with actions keep rolling in.

    Thanks again Snowden. You woke up the world and it's changing for the better because of you.
  • Dear Facebook.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by freeze128 (544774) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:47PM (#44888337)
    BRAZIL: Dear Facebook, please store your data about our citizens on a server that is located in our Country.

    Facebook: No.

    BRAZIL: Well, then we will just prevent all our citizens from accessing your website...

    Facebook: Darn.
    • Re:Dear Facebook.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Uberbah (647458) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @06:26PM (#44888669)

      Right. Just like how every time Google has been threatened with having local regulations applied to them in France or Germany or what have you, the for-profit corporation writes off the countries involved and pulls up shop.

      Unless they, you know, cave. Which is pretty much every time.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Should provide a nice boost to Orkut :)

      They can go after Facebook for any business they're doing in Brazil, that is, taking advertisements.

  • Considering how US asks for extradiction of people who were hacking US networks, are they gonna extradite NSA employees that have broken countless laws and hacked networks in many other countries?

    I mean, will people be able to not start manically laughing next time USA asks for someone to be extradited because he/she broke some US law and/or hacked some US system(s)?

    I know I'll be rolling on the floor.

  • What really amazes me is how many people boldy say "I am ok with NSA spying", yet somehow they completely ignore that NSA personnel is breaking local and foreign laws.

    Breaking into corporate/private networks and stealing sensitive data, which is a heavy crime in almost every 'modern' country. Crime for which US pressures other countries, to extradite their own citizens. To extradite them to the country that is the biggest cyber criminal in the world. Ooooh, the irony.

    Are you really ok with that?

  • If Brazil wants to flex it muscles with respect to defending privacy, it should give political asylum to Snowden. Now that will send a message. It's crazy how no supposedly democratic country has stepped up yet.
  • Is amazing how much people focus in Brazil the blame, suspect of spying, or ulterior motives, and forget that they are just a symptom, and that more should follow example. But the disease, the one that should take all the blame, is barely named, and even justified when so. Put attention on the original action, not on the reactions thar will keep coming from the rest of the world.
  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@noSPam.slashdot.firenzee.com> on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @06:36PM (#44888763) Homepage

    Requiring foreign companies to host data on servers inside brazil isn't going to achieve anything... They are still foreign corporations, and will be able to access those servers and/or copy data off them at any time they want.

    What's really needed, is instead of large centrally controlled services like facebook there should be a large number of distributed but openly interoperable services.

    This is how the internet has always worked, and how core services like web and email work - anyone can run their own servers, and anyone's servers can talk to anyone else's. If you are worried about foreign spies, you can ensure that you use services operated in countries you trust.

    • by c0d3g33k (102699)

      This. Mod parent up, please.

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      A large number of smaller sites (than Facebook) has a lower value than Facebook due to network effects.

      What happens when you look at the Internet as just another commodity? Would Brazil want the US to create legislation to ensure that all planes flown in US airspace must be made in the US?

  • I guess she's one of them [xkcd.com].

    Unfortunately, this is a much less delightful revelation...and, well, she's Brazilian not American...but c'mon lady.

  • I don't think the Brazilians understand that the US can do this to the North Koreans and they have as much their own internet as anyone.

  • by submain (856941) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @08:58PM (#44889765)

    Brazilian here. It has to do with censoring what people post on facebook.

    Recently, there have been waves of protests in Brazil, where all the traditional media companies - newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV - barely took notice even though at some instances there were almost one million people screaming outside. The reason they are so biased is because they are being bought by the government, in a monthly basis, where Rede Globo, the Brazilian equivalent of BBC, takes half the money and the rest is distributed to the other smaller media outlets. That's taxpayer money we are talking about - rampant corruption is one of the main points of these protests.

    The only way that these protests gained wide support was through facebook events. Since Dilma has no control over facebook, she could not censor it. Hence, the excuse to store all brazilian data in brazilian servers: so that she and her government can put a stop to the riots.

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