Thursday

18th Jan 2018

Brazil champions undersea cable to bypass US

A proposal to lay an undersea cable between Portugal and Brazil to circumvent US snooping has been praised by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff on Monday (25 February) in Brussels at the annual EU-Brazil summit told reporters that privacy, human rights, and the sovereignty of nations must be respected.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff wants an undersea cable to Europe

"The internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee ... the neutrality of the network, a democratic area where we can protect freedom of expression," she said.

Brazilian state-owned telecom provider Telebra is reported to have cut a deal last month with Spain's IslaLink’s Submarine Cables to lay the €134 million cable.

The plan is to reroute Brazil’s internet traffic, which currently passes through a network access point in Florida, away from the US altogether.

Work is set to commence over the summer. Brazil is expected to pay most of the bill, reports Reuters.

The EU, for its part, back the plans.

"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," said the EU Council, representing member states, in a statement.

Media reports last year alleged the US National Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted Rousseff’s communications and infiltrated Brazil’s state-run oil giant Petrobras.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also had her phone tapped, according to leaked documents from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The snooping scandals damaged US-EU relations and prompted German calls earlier this month to set up an exclusive EU internet zone in a wider effort to block out US-led spying on EU citizens.

Despite promises made by US president Barack Obama that the Americans do not collect signals intelligence on the scale revealed by Snowden’s revelations, the EU has threatened to scrap data exchange agreements with Washington.

American officials also deny reports they spy on foreign companies in order to gain a competitive advantage.

“The NSA will not be used for industrial espionage or as a tool for American businesses. American companies will not be getting commercial information,” Peter Swire, a member of Obama’s NSA review team, told reporters in Brussels in January.

Swire said there is now a much stricter screen on leadership intelligence when it comes to “our allies than what existed previously.”

Meanwhile, Bild am Sonntag over the weekend cited a senior NSA employee that some 320 German high-ranking officials and businessmen are on a NSA watchlist.

"We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the Chancellor's communication directly," the paper quoted the NSA employee as saying.

MEPs target exports of cyber surveillance tech

MEPs have introduced a human rights clause into the export of cyber surveillance technology as part of EU-wide reforms to prevent abuse by autocratic regimes. The Strasbourg plenary will vote on the bill on Wednesday.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia
  2. Taking full benefit of supercomputers in Europe
  3. Spitzenkandidat system 'difficult to get rid of', hopes lead MEP
  4. Rights NGOs face fresh threats across the EU, agency says
  5. EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate, chief insists
  6. EU 'hypocrisy' condemns people to Libya, says NGO
  7. Next year's EU election at risk of Russian meddling
  8. Hungary to tax NGOs that 'help' migration