It seemed crazy at first, and overreacting at the very least, but the Brazilian government is really going ahead with Internet infrastructure plans that are meant to circumvent U.S. technology. The goal is to escape the all-seeing eye of the National Security Agency.
Do you think that’s silly, considering an American national agency probably shouldn’t have any authority on foreign turf? If so, keep in mind that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was spied on last year, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other world leaders as well.
Officially, the NSA was looking into possible terror threats, and not targeting Rousseff or Merkel individually. But the South American country’s powers that be took matters rather personally, and decided to cut all online ties with America.
Step one involves spending $185 million on stretching a fiber-optic cable from the town of Fortaleza, Brazil, to Portugal. The intention is to replace the current U.S.-controlled network, and use mostly-local companies to do so. For exterior help and outsourcing contracts, the Brazilian government intends to strike deals with local, European, and Asian vendors.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but according to Telebras President Francisco Ziober Filho, Edward Snowden’s infamous leaks prompted the state-owned telecommunications company to probe all foreign-supplied network equipment.
The findings were distressing, to say the least, with security vulnerabilities all over the place. So now, Brazil is dead-set on crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and unfolding a 3,500 mile-long wire sometime around the end of 2016.
The project is set to get underway in the first half of 2015. This bold venture, as well as actions by other nations that are preoccupied with the security of systems built by U.S. businesses, is estimated to cause the American economy total losses amounting to $35 billion through 2016.
Brazil wants even more domestic control of local Web and information infrastructure. Microsoft-provided Outlook e-mail services are a thing of the past for state departmental computers. These now rely on a piece of software called Expresso, developed by Serpro. Serpro is, you guessed it, a state-owned outfit.