Brazil plans new Internet cable and local data centres to bypass US-based online services.
Following leaks about Washington’s cyber hacking operations, Brazil is looking at ways to make local use of the internet less dependent on US-based services.
Brazil has suggested forcing internet firms to open data centres in the South American nation, which would be used to store locally generated material. It is also pursuing a plan to build a new internet cable. These measures would allow the data to bypass the US.
Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, has postponed a state visit to Washington after allegations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had targeted her emails and phone calls. It has also been alleged that the NSA hacked state-run oil company Petrobras and intercepted billions of emails and calls to Brazilians.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has previously defended the NSA’s actions, saying they were necessary to combat terrorism. "Brazil and other countries will understand exactly what we are doing, why and how – and we will work together to make sure that whatever is done is done in a way that respects our friends and our partners," he said last month on a visit to Brazil.
Virgilio Almeida, Brazil’s IT policy secretary, has suggested that internet firms would have to operate data centres in Brazil, which would make them subject to local privacy laws. He also said that the government may ensure that its own data about tax information and other sensitive subjects would be stored locally rather than in the cloud.
Brazil is also backing a plan to create the Brics Cable, which would see a fibre-optic link run from the Brazilian city of Fortaleza to Vladivostok, Russia. The link would pass through Africa and Asia and connect with cables running to mainland Europe and the Middle East. There would also be a link between Fortaleza and Miami, but it would mean data would not need to go through Florida before travelling elsewhere.
The organisers of Brics Cable hope to have their 21,000 miles link ready to use by the end of 2015.