Brazil and the EU have agreed to build an undersea communications cable from Lisbon to Fortaleza in efforts to avoid spying by US authorities.
The $185m fibre-optic link project is designed to allow data to bypass the US, assure internet neutrality and protect Brazil's internet traffic from US snooping activities.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement that both EU and Brazil share common interest of protecting a free and open Internet, which has spurred tremendous economic and social progress.
"At the same time, we will continue to enhance data protection and global privacy standards. A new fibre-optic submarine cable - connecting Latin America directly with Europe - would make an important contribution to these efforts," Rompuy said.
In a joint statement, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said: "On ICT infrastructure, we welcomed the plans for the future installation of a fibre-optic submarine cable linking Brazil and Europe, which will improve communications between the two continents, facilitate the take-up of broadband, stimulate ICT investments, reduce the interconnectivity costs for our businesses and researchers, enhance the protection of communications and provide better functional characteristics."
According to reports, Brazil currently depends on US undersea cables for about all of its communications to EU, while the existing cable connecting Europe and Brazil is redundant and only deployed for voice transmission activities.
Rousseff also called off the state visit to Washington in October 2013, in response to alleged spying on her email and phone.
Brazil is also pushing for new laws to force internet giants including Google and Facebook to set up local data storage centres, which would facilitate the government to store confidential information.
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