Brazil Looks to Break from U.S.-Centric Internet

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil plans to divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet over Washington’s widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments.

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.

Internet security and policy experts say the Brazilian government’s reaction to information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is understandable, but warn it could set the Internet on a course of Balkanization.

Read full article on AP Big Story

Brazil’s about ready to poke out the “Five Eyes”

A Twitter wag asked today why Glenn Greenwald doesn’t just unload all his Snowden-endowed dirt on who is spying on Brazil in one article. I thought of the old journalistic saw: “Why to sell newspapers, of course.” Sounds quaint, eh?

The Canadians reportedly busted open encryption to have their way with Brazil’s mining ministry. We’d already heard that the NSA spied on Petrobras and President Rousseff’s inner circle. Still to come: Details on how Brazil spies on its citizens. Have patience. Brazilian colleagues are surely working it.

It will be time soon for an update on the divorce Rousseff is preparing from the U.S.-centric Internet. Plenty of experts think that’s a bad idea and will only encourage Balkanization by really nasty regimes already bent on inhibiting the free flow of  information.


Chavez’s prostration – Cuba and Brazil’s behavior

Two  interesting  points about the Venezuela conundrum made in this  Economist piece:

1) “Mr Chávez’s prostration has given Cuba unhealthy sway over events in the country. Cuba’s influence was already considerable: it provides Mr Chávez with intelligence and security advisers in return for Venezuelan oil.”

Are the Cubans indeed  gatekeepers to Chavez? Controlling who he sees? Or does it boil down to Chavez’s daughters?

2) Mercosur, led by Brazil, suspended Paraguay’s last year “after its left-wing president was impeached—constitutionally, albeit with unseemly haste.” The Economist says Mercosur should “now similarly suspend Venezuela until it adheres to its own constitution.”

Many will remember Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro’s alleged attempt to persuade Paraguayan military leaders to act to thwart the impeachment of Fernando Lugo.

Maduro and National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello are now engaged in a political high-wire act, without a constitutional net.