21:56 GMT +321 February 2017
    Mass surveillance

    Brazil to Construct a $250 Million Submarine Cable to Avoid US Spies

    © Flickr/ Stephen Melkisethian
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    New European data-link would leave Washington out of the loop.

    Brazilian Communications Minister Andre Figueirdo announced plans to develop a submarine cable linking Brazil directly with Europe, as part of the nation’s attempts to counter US electronic espionage. The project is estimated to cost some $250 million.

    Google and Facebook, however, may be willing to help defray the expense. The two multinational giants are among dozens of companies who have expressed interest in using cable for secure transmission, signaling that the bulk data collection of Washington’s surveillance community is now too great a nuisance for global users to ignore.

    The cable, expected to be operational in late 2017, "will be funded by the commercialization of its traffic," declared Figueiredo in a Tuesday interview at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona. He went on to say that the state-owned Telecomunicacoes Brasileiras, known colloquially as Telebras, "is already marketing the cable to the European Union and major multinational corporations."

    Brazil made plans to construct a secure data link following the 2013 revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored President Dilma Rousseff’s official and private communications, as well as that of her entire cabinet, per files released by WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange commented at the time that, "If President Rousseff wants to see more US investment in Brazil, how can she assure Brazilian companies that US counterparts will not have an advantage provided by surveillance?"

    This new development may diminish America’s economic relationship with the burgeoning South American power; as a direct data link to Europe would avoid the US entirely. Presently, the US is the primary transfer node for Brazilian Internet traffic, and the two countries are major economic partners. Prior to the 2013 incident, Telebras had announced plans to construct a new cable directly to the US. The Brazilian government quickly prohibited the US-Brazil data link project, instead ordering Telebras to seek a direct connection with Europe.

    Representatives from Google and Facebook have declined to comment on the Brazil/Europe cable plans. The plan will likely be seen by Washington security watchdogs as an impediment to their international intelligence operations. More importantly, the involvement of Google and Facebook represents a direct challenge to US economic and imperial interests by two of the world’s largest Internet companies founded right in California’s Silicon Valley.


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    • rogertidy
      An excellent development!
    • sukhoi47
      Together with Google and Facebook... two companies funded and operated by CIA, especialized in stol people's data... And how about the USA submarines to intercept cables?
    • avatar
      They'll just tap into it. Can't trust that douche bag government.
    • avatar
      yes, nice idea but having g and fb involved......hmmm
    • avatar
      The allegiance of the american allies in europe and their continual despicable actions in eavesdropping on anyone and everyone and submitting the data to Washington and others makes me believe that this will be a great expenditure that will not pay the dividends expected and that Brazil and other countries in South America connecting to the cable network will be frustrated at the other end, where the very private lines have to merge in a Central Dial/Distribution Office, by the arrogant continuation of the internationally unacceptable policy, clandestine or otherwise, of sharing information with others especially if it gets into the hands of one of the five eyes countries. Britain is one of the eyes. I remember an accusation about two years ago that they, allegedly, have the technology and the ability to extract information from undersea cables. This could be true since they have the experience of undersea cable technology from the days of the Great Eastern that laid the first undersea cable for morse code transmission and later voice communications. Later, they operated a fleet of cable laying and repair ships, one of which, I remember, was Mercury. Others were given names of planets. They covered the seabed of the entire world with a network of undersea cables. Two hundred years of doing this, surely I suppose, allowed them to be the leaders of undersea technology.
      The two american companies cannot be depended upon for an extended period of time. The motive to maximize market share will continually put them at odds with governments and governmental agencies, both at home and abroad, who use the courts as their weapon to legally extract information that are of the highest level of privacy and security of any entity.
      Perhaps, the positive side of all of this is that they are circumventing mainland usa and the world should perceive this as a Sanction. Congratulations Brazil, you have guts, unlike some of the other executive players in the international arena, who just take what is dished out to them and their electorates, by the drunken chef, soon to be demoted to chief cook and bottle washer.
    • avatar
      The JOKE of the CENTURY. Secret not well known.

      Soviets tried that. Where between Sakhalin and Kuril's. There was a cable, to keep comm secret.
      next you know, Russia removed a secret device. years after CIA found out it was been DUPED.
      CIA placed an underwater device to snoop on that cable!!!!!
      I don't recall the exact place where it was seen, but Soviets allowed CIA to see the device. Once recognized CIA realized that, all comm was a dupe. And Soviets HAD the device!!!

      And now this. REALLY? Bet CIA have a device ready and even paid personnel assuring that it will be heard. This is what happens when FOOLS rule the world.
      The FIRST thing the world need is an economic war against U.S and allies, so they have no cash for that.. And then to Europe? CIA runs Europe.
      Some kids are playing in the backyard. KIDS.
    • avatar
      cast235in reply togoldcamshaft(Show commentHide comment)
      goldcamshaft, RIGHT.. they LAUGHING their hearts out at Council of Europe. They will bypass our eavesdropping that renders all to CIA. Ask Snowden.
    • Ann
      the involvement of Google and Facebook represents a probable guarantee that the U.S. will have a secretly built-in backdoor in the new cable. It will be a waste of money and accomplish nothing.
    • Ann in reply tocast235(Show commentHide comment)
      cast235, They can sure try.
    • avatar
      During cold war there were techniques to tap such cables. But maybe they are now better secured. But I think without sophisticated encryption techniques that will not work.
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